A trip to the E.R. is never something to look forward to but if the need arises, be assured that you’re in good hands if you have to make a weekend visit to Teton Valley Hospital’s E.R. or Driggs Health Clinic. Teton Valley Health Care has contracted with Intermountain Emergency Physicians to provide physicians onsite 24/7 throughout the weekend. The doctors will also see patients during the Driggs clinic’s Saturday and Sunday business hours.
Intermountain Emergency Physicians, also known as IEP, is made up of 12 physicians with over 140 years of combined ER experience between them. IEP is based in Idaho Falls, currently serving Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, and now, Teton Valley Hospital. Some members of the group also work at Madison Memorial Hospital and Bingham Memorial Hospital. Eleven members of the group are currently board-certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine with one board eligible physician awaiting his certification notification.
Currently, Physician Assistants and Family Nurse Practitioners provide hospital ER care during weekdays in conjunction with TVHC physicians. For weekend coverage, TVHC had previously contracted ER care with a national staffing group. When it was time to renegotiate that agreement, CEO Keith Gnagey was pleased to discover a regional emergency care group.
“We already have a strong relationship with the IEP doctors through our shared patient care with EIRMC. These physicians know our valley, our facility and they’ve worked with our staff. All of this translates into great patient care,” said Gnagey.
When asked why Teton Valley Hospital needs to contract weekend ER coverage, Gnagey responded that TVHC would have to hire several additional doctors to be able to cover the weekend shifts and that the overall ER experience levels, EIRMC knowledge, and number of providers available through the relationship with IEP makes that a better alternative for providing care to our patients.
Dr. Eric Maughan, IEP physician, said he is “excited to be a part of this new agreement. Teton Valley Hospital is a great facility with excellent staff and impressive diagnostic capability. As physicians who were born and raised in Southeastern Idaho, we’re proud to be able to serve the community on a more local, personal level.”
For further information, please call Ann Loyola, director of Marketing and Public Relations at (208) 354-6301 or email email@example.com.
Teton County Commission Chairman Bill Leake, right, accepts a check from Teton Valley Health Care, Inc. Board Chair Bob Benedict during a county commission meeting in January 2015.
During a regular meeting of the Board of County Commissioners Monday, Jan. 26, Teton Valley Health Care leaders presented a check for $19,537 for the county coffers. The payment comes as part of a lease agreement of the hospital facilities between the county and TVHC, Inc. and represents 5 percent of TVHC’s net operating profit for fiscal year 2014, which ended Sept. 30, 2014.
Commissioner Kelly Park noted the significance of the moment by reflecting that several years ago, our county was “at risk of losing our community hospital” due to serious financial challenges.
The irony of the situation was not lost on Bob Benedict who currently serves as Chair for the TVHC Board of Directors. Bob was a County Commissioner during the hospital crisis when the BOCC took over the governance of the facility and supervised the subsequent restructuring of hospital administration and the business model. Over two years ago, TVHC moved from a county-owned business to a private nonprofit healthcare organization, effectively protecting the county from hospital financial liabilities and removing the burden of tax support from residents.
Bob expressed gratitude for Teton County taxpayers who helped pass two supplemental levies in 2008 and 2010 to boost TVHC out of near bankruptcy, saying that TVHC has survived due to community support.
CEO Keith Gnagey provided updates on other contractual terms including the annual lease payment of $70,000 and an agreement that TVHC maintain and improve the county-owned plant each year by investing in repairs and new equipment. The amount required per that equation in FY 2014 was $416,149.25. Year-end audited financials showed that TVHC made over $751,000 in improvements or 180 percent of the requirement.
“It was absolutely my pleasure to give this check to our county and to have the opportunity to thank our taxpayers and everyone who worked so hard to make this possible,” said Bob Benedict after the BOCC meeting.
“Every year presents new challenges for rural hospitals, both anticipated and unanticipated,” adds Gnagey. “We hope that we’re in a position next year to again present a check to Teton County.”
This is not your average healthcare CEO article. I won’t trot out numbers, stats and confusing lingo. I’ll only use the word “metrics” once, and instead of looking back, I’m going to tell you what Teton Valley Health Care plans to accomplish in 2015 as we work toward becoming the one of the best rural hospitals in the U.S.
In 2015, you can look forward to online access to your medical records, treatment plans and prescriptions through the implementation of our new patient portal. Through this portal, you’ll also be able to tell us how you’d prefer to receive messages, when you need prescription refills and reminders for follow-up care. Online payments and a review of your prior bills will also be available.
We’ll respond to your needs by adding services that make sense for our community. Currently, we can all benefit from 24/7 consultations with University of Utah Health Center stroke and burn specialists through our portable telemedicine robot. In the New Year, we’ll add tele-adolescent psychiatry and hopefully tele-oncology. We also want to add new clinic service lines, such as dermatology.
You’ll see interior changes in our clinics and hospital as we continue to press ahead with our design goal to reflect a healing environment for our patients, their families and friends. Changes will include a more natural design theme and room renovations that will make navigation easier for patients and providers.
We’re also determined to provide more services at a “one-price-covers-all” cost. This is difficult for hospitals because everybody is physically different and many times when a surgeon or physician has begun a procedure, other issues are discovered that need to be taken care of. For now, you can check out our new bundled pricing for colonoscopies and upper GI screenings at tvhcare.org. We’ll add more of this type of pricing throughout 2015.
Similar to the saying that good things come in small packages, I believe that Teton Valley is fortunate to have a small hospital that offers impressive medical and nursing staff, round-the-clock emergency care, a menu of carefully selected services and technology that rivals or exceeds the capabilities available at some larger hospitals. After giving numerous tours of our facility to outside hospital leaders, specialists and providers from large healthcare organizations, I’ve learned to anticipate their expressions of surprise and some envy when they see – for example – our X-ray and surgical suites, laboratory equipment and digital mammography room.
What services, changes and improvements do you want to see at your community hospital? Let us know by calling me at 354-6355, email firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on our Facebook page. TVHC tweets, pins, FBs and blogs, too, in an effort to continually offer access and information for everyone. We invite you to be a part of moving TVHC from better to the very best.