SARATOGA – Corbett Medical Foundation has hired a Kansas City Firm, BKD, to study the feasibility of a Critical Access Hospital (CAH) for Saratoga.

After the collapse of the medical clinic in Saratoga, the Foundation and its Healthcare Sustainability Project Subcommittee were seeking options to ensure long-term sustainable health care in the Platte Valley. The idea for a CAH was brought to the Board by Karl Rude, owner of Health Management Services, which owns and operates the Saratoga Care Center nursing home. His company operates the CAH model of medical facility in other locations in Wyoming and Montana.

A Critical Access Hospital would provide emergency room services 24/7 in Saratoga, as well as imaging and laboratory services on site instead of having to go to Rawlins for these services said Rude. A CAH would also have a few beds for longer term care. Specialists would be able to come to town a day or two a month to provide specialized care in a CAH.

“The Federal Center for Medicare Services (CMS) do not provide any funding for operating a medical clinic, but they will reimburse the cost of operating a Critical Access Hospital in a rural area,” said Mike Glode, Chairman of the Corbett Medical Foundation. “Without this support it would not be possible to offer this level of medical service in a rural area.”

CMS administers the Federal Medicare and Medicaid Programs across the country and works with state partners to provide these services to America.

Two representatives of BKD, Joe Watt and Eric Lopata, attended the Saratoga Healthcare Sustainability Project Subcommittee public meeting at the Platte Valley Community Center last Wednesday evening to discuss their task.

BKD is a CPA and advisory firm that “goes well beyond standard accounting services, specializes in health care of all kinds as well as risk management,” said Watt.

“We are in the area to gain information, do a market assessment, identify the service area and develop a financial forecasting model. We have worked with 150 CAH’s nationwide. We have seen lots of models,” said Lopata.

The feasibility study will take about 60 to 90 days. The total cost for the Foundation can be as high as $47,500.00, with the study broken into three phases. The cost for this first segment is $17,500. “These funds were raised specifically for this study,” said Glode.

BKD Was founded in 1923 by three CPA’s, Baird, Kurtz and Dobson, in Kansas City Missouri. The firm now has 2,710 employees, with CPA’s, advisors and staff located in 38 offices in 17 states. This company, with offices mostly in the Midwest, does have an office in Denver.

“We have clients in all 50 states,” said Watt.

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