A report to the board by Hospital CFO Bethany Goss said that current rates are in the lower 15 percentile compared to other hospitals, and a 10-44 percent variance between Trigg’s rates and the rates charged by other providers. Goss, in working with the Hospital’s finance committee, recommended bringing rates for non-emergency runs to within seven to eight percent of competitors for Advance Life Support runs, basic life support runs to above nine percent of the competition. Currently, she said that the hospital charges 21-38 percent less than competitors. She also recommended a $25 percent charge to nursing homes for starting IV’s on their patients. The report said that the fee was non-billable to patients but addressed liability issues.
“We have not increased fees for the ambulance service since 2005. The new ALS service and additional costs associated with it have not been absorbed by our current rates,” said Goss. “Current ALS rates are $450. We want to go to a rate closer to $600 plus the mileage. Our rates are lower than the competition now in most cases.”
“Just because I can charge more doesn’t mean I should,” said Board Member Dan Jurgens. “Trigg County residents don’t have a choice in ambulance service so there is no competition. If rates go up because there is better service and gas is $3.09 per gallon, that is another issue.”
The board improved the increase by a unanimous vote.
At the meeting, the board also heard the report on its facility review from Steve Grode, Vice President of Planning from American Health Facilities Development and David Johnson, Principal from Johnson, Johnson and Crabtree Architects. The review assessed the present hospital campus and made recommendations on future needs and development at the facility.
Grode’s portion of the report identified a need for the replacement of surgical facilities at the hospital. Given requirements for ceiling height for safety and to accommodate equipment, he said that the existing facility could not accommodate a new surgical suite.
For a complete wrapup of the hospital's actions, see The Cadiz Record, Page 5A.