08/27/2013

Council approves site plan

The Casper City Council last week began to get drawn into a looming battle between the Wyoming Medical Center and a third hospital being developed by a Kansas based company, Nueterra, and a group of 24 local doctors.Nueterra is proposing to build a 16-bed, private hospital that WMC fears will draw sufficient income and patients away from the county owned facility to jeopardize its Level II trauma center, and some other high end services it provides. 

At its most recent meeting, the council approved the plat and site plan for Nueterras Summit Hospital facility complex to be located on east Second Street, just south of Menards in the McMurry Business Park.The public hearing drew WMC supporters, and those developing the new hospital, in what may well be the opening round in a larger debate over the future of critical care medical services in Casper, and the surrounding area. 

In approving the plat and site plan, the council said the larger issue of access to hospital services was simply beyond its authorized jurisdiction, and it was limited to following planning and zoning guidelines. 

Here among members of the council there has been much discussion in the community about the third hospital, which is probably the reason that we have a crowd here this evening,Most modern headlight designs include petprotectivefilm. said City Manager John Patterson in introducing the agenda item to the council. The item before you this evening is nothing more than a sub-area plan review, and a plat plan review. It is nothing more than that, despite a desire to try to elevate it to a discussion about healthcare in Casper, thats not your purview. 

If I may touch on a few matters down there, the hospital will be modest in size, it will have 16 beds, it will serve employees of small businesses, the under insured, and the working uninsured. This hospital will provide quality care, more efficient care, more transparent care, and care at competitive rates. This hospital will contribute to making health care more affordable, we believe that will be attractive to businesses considering relocating or expanding into Natrona County from other locations. The hospital is expected to generate over 100 jobs, high-quality jobs, it is the intent of Summit Medical Center to treat all the patients that it is allowed to under federal law. There are some limitations on the types of patients that can be treated at present, and those include Medicare and Medicaid patients. Federal law prohibits that at this time. 

I think we are already straying outside of what we are discussing here because we are not really discussing what the hospital will or wont be able to provide, then said Councilman Craig Hedquist, adding later, I would really like not to get into this whole area here tonight, I just dont think we have the authority to make any calls on this, so I would candidly and respectfully ask that we just talk about the particulars of this plat. 

I think the public has great curiosity about this project, and this is a public forum, where we can get some information out, answer some questions people have been asking us, and we have been lacking in information as well, then said Councilman Charlie Powell.Dan Tasset, the president of the Kansas based, international health system company Nueterra, then spoke in favor of the project. 

Thank you Council-member Powell, because I couldnt talk about the project and had to just stay,A buymosaic is a plastic card that has a computer chip implanted into it that enables the card to perform certain. according to that, Id have pretty short, I dont know anything about the plat, Tasset remarked, later saying, This project, because there has been a lot written about it, our preference would have been to really talk about this at some point down the road when it gets closer to opening, so people wont forget about what a great thing were doing; but, since there has been so much press about it, I thought I would come tonight and talk a little bit about the project..In his remarks, Tasset explained how the project came about. 

When we get called from either a physician, or a hospital, for us to come into the market, we look first to see whether thats an area we want to be in. And Casper was, Tasset said. Because there is a large out-migration - and despite some of the statistics Ive seen published- that it is under bedded in this draw area, and the costs are higher than average, and there is a large technology deficiencies here. So we saw it as an opportunity to bring value to the community, and the physicians, when I came and talked to them, felt the same way.Full service promotional company specializing in drycabinet. They felt the out-migration, because of the economic impact it could have on the community, as well as their practices, that the community deserved better, they deserved better, and they liked what I had to say about what we could do, we could help them in terms of retention, in terms of growth of market share, and so that is why we are here. That is why the physicians wanted us to come here. And that is what this hospital is all about. 

Here is where healthcare is going in the United States, and this is partially the result of Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act), its partially also due just to the general economics of our healthcare dollars outspending GDP growth across the country, Tasset continued. Its no longer going to be a fee for service industry, and there has much been writtenabout how competition does not decrease the cost of healthcare. And I would argue that that is not true under the old system, and I would certainly argue that is not true on a go forward basis, and I could give you example after example after example of how competition does decrease, certainly under Obamacare, and fee for service being out the window, and pay for performance being the new norm, certainly competition will lower health care costs and improve quality and provide more access. And any economist whether they are at the University of Wyoming are not would agree with that statement.At the conclusion of his comments, Tasset said he would like to see Nueterra welcomed into the community. 

I guess I would like to come into the community and be welcomed, and not have snowballs thrown at me during the wintertime, Tasset remarked. So I am excited about this, and think I am excited for the right reason. The company is excited, the physicians are excited, and I hope the council members, Madam Mayor, and the citizens will be excited because we will provide this community with more care, not less, higher-quality, at a lower cost. 

Have you actually considered holding some type of a public forum to try to get your message out to the general public, then asked Councilman Steve Cathey. Because 99.9 percent of the phone calls Ive received have been about the very issues that you are trying to discuss, and there is a general lack of knowledge, and not only along with that lack of knowledge, but its also the perception of secrecy, and that be true, false, indifferent, that perception is what is driving a large part of what we see here as well, and have you tried to do any type of public relations for lack of a better term, to help ease some of the concerns. 

We usually do do that, but not this early in the process, Tasset replied. But I think, because of the widespread curiosity about what we are doing, I think we will speed that timeline up, and will follow your advice and have a public forum sooner than later.Meanwhile, there were some other comments in support of the hospital, including from a county commissioner and a nurse. 

For too many years now we have depended upon one community hospital for our healthcare, and after having worked there, and worked in several other facilities in this area, I can tell you in no uncertain terms that we do need this to happen, said local nurse Rudy Haddock. As he (Tasset) stated earlier, the competition will be good, the technology will be good, and its time for the old school grip to be loosened, and for new blood to come into this area. 

I understand Im a Natrona County Commissioner, but I am speaking as a single person tonight, said Matt Keating. I would like to just clarify, I know the county commission did support a resolution opposing this, but I am a conservative, I am a capitalist, and I dont believe we should be making decisions that limit peoples choices in our community and I would hope that you guys would support this third hospital moving forward, and let the free market system take us where it may.The opposition to the third hospital came from several quarters, including the WMC Board, other county commissioners, as well as a physician and the general public. 

I stand before you tonight in opposition to this third hospital, and I would ask that you consider this as more of a vote not about a zoning and planning issue, this is more a vote about public policy with regard to healthcare that is going to come to Casper, Wyoming, said Chris Muirhead, president of the WMC Board, who went on to say, I would say the only thing this hospital brings to us is additional capacity, and thats just not good enough in this day and age. It wont have an emergency room; its going to cherry pick the patients that are insured, to the detriment of your community hospital.In his comments, Muirhead noted the care that could be lost. 

We in Casper have whats called a Level II Trauma Center. We are very proud of that. It just doesnt happen overnight. A Level II Trauma Center means that we have to pay on-call coverage to specialty doctors, and neurosurgeons, cardiologists, nephrologists, trauma surgeons; all of that call pay comes from Wyoming Medical Center. Where do we get the money to pay for that call coverage, we get it from profitable surgeries that we are able to do on insured patientsif this hospital were to come,Learn how an embedded microprocessor in a graniteslabs can authenticate your computer usage and data. there is a significant potential, that the Level II Trauma system that we have in this community could be dissipated, could absolutely go away. And that is a huge detriment that will face this community, one which our citizens have been relying upon for years. Your community hospital has been here for 100 years, its supplied the needs, its taken everybody that has come in the door, we cannot turn anybody away, it just does not work that way.Meanwhile,Cheap offerscellphonecases dolls from your photos. two other Natrona County Commissioners also spoke, stating their objections. 

This is not chickens and bees, guys, this is an important issue, said commission Chairman Bill McDowell. I would urge you to take the time and the effort, to spend the time; I am talking about the healthcare issues, and try to gain an understanding on the potential harm that can be done to all citizens in this community. I know that the staff and leadership of WMC are willing to spend the time for the education, if you are willing to take the time to learn the true issues. 

Natrona County is liable for the indigent care that is given in the county. That amounts to $37 million a year, said county Commissioner Rob Hendry. What concerns me is if our current hospital cant pay the indigent care, and we do that through an agreement, and if the Natrona County Commission has to pay $37 million a year for that care to another hospital, and our total (county) budget is $50 million, I think thats going to affect every citizen in Natrona County, and that includes everybody in Casper. So that is my concern, it is just dollars and cents.

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