by Richard Uhlhorn
The Lake Chelan Community Hospital Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution to un-surplus the current hospital building. “We need to rescind that building because we are planning on using it,” said Board Chair Mary Murphy.
When the voters first approved the building of the new hospital, its projected space was large enough to accommodate all the district’s needs. However, over the years since the new building was approved by the voters. it has been downsized for a number of reasons.
The current hospital will be utilized by the district for administration offices, EMS and potentially, the walk-in clinic.
Jeremy Jaech asked what the purpose of surplus the building was in the first place? Murphy replied that the district had planned on selling the building and used the profits for other things needed by the hospital. “We were going to do everything we needed at the new campus until we had to scale back,” said Murphy.
CEO George Rohrich told the board that he and Mary Signorelli met with Timi Starkweatehr and that the facility was not making any moves to obtain a loan until November. “There is no urgency now,” said Rohrich. “When we get all the information, we will bring it back to the board.”
EMS Director Ray Eickmeyer recommended that the board approve the purchase of two new ambulances. “We have one 27 year old ambulance we can’t purchase parts for anymore and a 20 year old ambulance that also needs replacing,” Eickmeyer told the board. “We won’t see the new ambulances for at least 365 days.” He explained that the issue was the non-availability of computer chips in the vehicle manufacturing industry.
“I know these are expensive but I’m asking that you consider ordering,” said Eickmeyer. He added that waiting to order would increase the price by 12% or another $30,000 each. The board approved the purchase.
Jeremy asked if the new levy funds covered the cost of the ambulances? Eickmeyer replied that the levy did indeed have the costs covered. The old ambulances would be sold; the older one to a person and the 20-year old one to a smaller fire department.
“We’ve got every ounce of life out of these,”said Eickmeyer. The average life of an ambulance is ±20 years depending on a number of variables.
C. Cornwell presented the July financial report. $3.38 million was forgiven from the CARES monies, and LCH expects $2.6 million back from the cost report. The Finance Committee is recommending engagement of a service contract with Kronos for accounts payable and HR functions, as well as scheduling and additional services interchangeable within the two contenders for EHR. If approved the rollout is expected to take six months.
CFO Cheryl Cornwell said a contract with one of the two proposals would help improve the hospital’s revenue, “if we ever get out of the COVID Pandemic.”
Along with increasing the hospital’s revenue, Cornwell said they need to “make sure our revenue cycle is healthy.”
Rohrich stated that the new hospital in on schedule and that there were no large value change orders in August.
“The Facilities Plan is moving forward and in 30 to 60 days we will know the costs,” said Rohrich. The plan will also indicate who is going to sit where.