RAWLINS – Memorial Hospital of Carbon County’s new interim CEO was introduced on Monday morning to the Carbon County Commission.
Robert Quist, out of Utah, has taken over the position of former CEO Dana Barnett, whose contract wasn’t renewed this year by the MHCC Board of Trustees. Quist has 40 years of hospital administrative experience, said Hospital Board President Sherrod France.
“He’s picking up and taking off rapidly,” said France of Quist, who’s expected to work between six months to a year, before the hospital can replace him with a permanent position.
In addition to Quist, Todd Gibson will also be the acting interim CFO for at least the next two months, until the board recruits a permanent candidate.
France said with the temporary positions filled, it gives the hospital “some continuity” before the positions become more longstanding.
Despite working the past eight to nine years on an interim basis at various rural and critical access facilities – most recently in Colorado – Quist introduced himself to the commission with a little humor.
“I haven’t completed a full week yet; it’s still honeymoon,” he said. “Go easy…”
After informing the commission of his seasoned hospital experience, he praised the amenities of MHCC.
“I must start by saying you should be very proud of this hospital, it is amazing…” he said. “… You’ve got great equipment, you’ve got good personnel – there’s things we can still do, there’s a number of things we need to be involved with – but you really have a very excellent facility.”
Quist does have roots in Wyoming, saying he spent most of his summers in Star Valley, where his mother grew up. He also joked that he’s used to getting stuck on Wyoming roads during inclement weather.
“The wind, I’m aware of. I think I can live with that,” he said. “I’m just going to need a little different hair gel.”
Following the introduction, Quist went right into a financial report for last year’s first two fiscal quarters leading up to Oct. 31. November and December numbers are not available until passed by the board, Quist noted.
According to Quist, the hospital saw the following during the first two fiscal quarters last year.
n $19.6 million in gross revenue. Quist said this figure is calculated after discounts, which include Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance companies.
n About $9.141 million in net revenue. Quist said this figure was “a little bit below budget.” The hospital budgeted $9.4 million for that same period.
n $505,756 in net operating income. Quist said that salaries and wages “were significantly under budget.” For that period $9.186 million was budgeted; however, expenses were $8.6 million.
n 213 in-patient admissions. Quist said this figure was 30 percent above the budget.
n 3 ½ percent drop in emergency room and out-patient visits compared to same time in 2017. Quist said US Interstate 80 conditions and traffic may have influenced these stats.
n 20 percent increase in surgeries compared to 2017.
n 13 percent decrease in clinic visits compared to 2017. Quist said the hospital didn’t have an additional provider then and they’re proceeding to hire one.
n Lab tests were up 36 percent, radiology 62 percent and cardiopulmonary procedures 35 percent compared to 2017.
n Days cash on hand 188. Quist said this figure is strong; however, the hospital has “significant capital projects” over the next five years.
n Receivable days 61. Industry standard, said Quist, is 60.
In addition to the figures, Quist said MHCC plans next month to implement a “hospitalist program,” which essentially rotates physicians who cover hospitalized patients. This way, said Quist, other healthcare providers will be freed up from being on-call 24/7.
Also, Quist noted that Director of Facilities Management Robert LeRoy has now retracted his letter of resignation and will maintain the position of at least 90 days. Quist said this is critical being LeRoy will ensure not to lose the continuation of various projects.
Lastly, with Quorum Health Resources managerial agreement now discontinued – last month, however, MHCC Board of Trustees approved with QHR and Quorum Purchasing Advantage contracts for purchasing, consulting and other services – all managerial services will be provided explicitly by the CEO, CFO and the board.
To end the agenda item, Commissioner Sue Jones was adamant about preserving and improving the hospital.
“It is critical that we keep it going, that we do not lose Carbon County Memorial Hospital in Carbon County,” she said.