Hospital decides to proceed with Allevant contract
February 13, 2020
POMEROY–The Garfield County Hospital District (GCHD) Board of Commissioners discuss the proposed contract with Allevant Solutions, LLC, for training and marketing services to enhance the swing bed portion of the hospital for the use of long-term transitional care patients at Monday night's regular meeting, February 3, 2020.
Chairman, Cindy Wolf, began the discussion by reporting that she had been in contact with Deer Lodge Medical Center in Deer Lodge, Montana, which has been contracted with Allevant since 2016. Deer Lodge is a small, rural town located between Butte and Helena, Montana, and the hospital there is a Critical Access Hospital just like GCHD. They reported that Allevant had been very beneficial in terms of education and training of the staff, and said the marketing services had been great, resulting in an increase in long-term illness patients. They have since re-signed their contract with Allevant.
Co-CEO, Mat Slaybaugh, said he had talked with the GCHD's attorney, Steve Matthews, who would like to clarify some details of the contract with Allevant's attorney. The contract, as currently written, allows for termination if a significant change in reimbursement model occurs, and Allevant has been agreeable to all of the contingencies requested by the GCHD. The proposed start date was tentatively set as March 1, 2020.
Commissioner Jen Dixon expressed a concern regarding having a contract start date occur before the levy vote on April 28, 2020. Her concern was that the hospital would be obligated to pay for Allevant's services even if the levy doesn't pass. Slaybaugh responded that a contract signed May 1, 2020, would push the start date to June due to a start-up process that would have to occur. Wolf agreed that she would like to get the process going, and "make a move on this tonight."
Commissioner Steve Cannon made a motion to allow the co-CEOs, Mat Slaybaugh and Jayd Keener, to proceed with getting the contract finalized through the attorneys, with a May 1, 2020, effective date, to be executed if the levy passes. The board voted unanimously to approve the motion.
In other business, Slaybaugh reported that the hospital has officially signed Josh Mayfield, P.A., as an Emergency Department (ED) provider, starting March 30, 2020. Courtney Travis, N.P., has also been hired as a full-time ED provider. Mayfield will be returning to Pomeroy after about five years of employment elsewhere, and Travis has been working here for about a year through the Omni Staffing Service used by the hospital. Both will be available to fill in at the clinic when necessary.
Due to the resignation of Ian Quarles, Information Technology (IT) Manager, the GCHD will be using Executech out of Spokane for IT Services on a month-to-month contract. The cost for the services was not disclosed due to a nondisclosure agreement, but Quarles stated that it is less than what it would cost to hire a full-time IT person, and Executech would provide more expertise than one person could provide. He admitted that it will be a change in culture for the hospital staff to be required to call Executech for assistance rather than relying on someone on-site.
Keener reported that a Department of Health Complaint Surveyor had made contact with the GCHD regarding a complaint filed regarding "patient rights." The surveyor was conducting a preliminary investigation. She expects to hear results of the investigation in about 10 days, and was told there would most likely be no fines assessed.
The hospital has been experiencing an outbreak of influenza and influenza symptoms within the patients and staff. Saturday night, February 1, seven patients presented with flu symptoms, and three tested positive. Those patients were immediately isolated. Over the weekend, however, a total of 18 patients were showing symptoms, and four tested positive and were isolated. The isolation must be maintained for seven days. A traveling Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) had been exposed to the flu, but was not symptomatic when he arrived. However, after working in the dining room just before flu symptoms started, there was an unavoidable exposure to staff and patients. Everyone who tested positive for the flu has begun a regimen of Tamiflu, and every staff member who comes in contact with patients is receiving prophylactic treatment. Masks are available for anyone who visits the hospital.
The next meeting of the GCHD Board of Commissioners will be Monday, March 2, 2020, at 6 p.m. at the Pomeroy Senior Center.