Hospital CEO faces Medicare issuesThe new president and CEO of Jamestown Regional Medical Center said federal deficit-reduction talks could ultimately affect the hospital. “The deficit reduction talks are contemplating reductions from 101 percent of cost to 100 percent,” Todd Hudspeth said, referring to Medicare reimbursements for Medicare patients.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
The new president and CEO of Jamestown Regional Medical Center said federal deficit-reduction talks could ultimately affect the hospital.
“The deficit reduction talks are contemplating reductions from 101 percent of cost to 100 percent,” Todd Hudspeth said, referring to Medicare reimbursements for Medicare patients. “That may not seem like a lot but it is a couple hundred thousand (dollars) for a facility like us.”
The Critical Access Hospital program provides reimbursements for services for Medicare patients based on cost and is designed to help maintain access to hospital health care in rural areas.
Hudspeth sees challenges for local clinics because of possible reductions to Medicare reimbursements paid to them under the standard Medicare program. Lower Medicare reimbursements could lead doctors to seek communities with younger populations.
This could, in the long run, affect the number of doctors utilizing the hospital, he said.
Hudspeth, 46, replaced the retiring Marty Richman, who stepped down at roughly the same time the transition from the old hospital took place.
“It was very important that with Todd, we clearly got a seasoned hospital CEO,” Richman said. “He has the sensibilities and insights that only come with experience.”
Hudspeth served as CEO of Buena Vista Regional Center, Storm Lake, Iowa, from 2003 until he took the job at Jamestown Regional Medical Center. Before that he held management positions in hospitals in Iowa and Nebraska
“He’s in a position to prepare the hospital for the future changes that are coming nationally,” Richman said. “Something is always changing in a dramatic way in health care.”
Hudspeth’s experience in rural health care made him the ideal candidate for the position, board members said.
“He understands rural health care and the critical access program,” said Terry Anderson, secretary of the hospital board of directors. “That is important, we definitely needed someone who understood rural health care.”
Hudspeth is also dealing with the final plans for the last step in the JRMC building.
“We’re in the final talks with the developer on the lease for the medical office building,” Hudspeth said. “We hope to break ground in November and occupy the building by November of 2012.”
The Medical Office Building is planned for the west end of Jamestown Regional Medical Center and will house clinics leasing space. The building will be constructed and owned by a third party that will lease space to the hospital and clinics under one roof.
Hudspeth oversees a staff of 310 at Jamestown Regional Medical Center. The facility has estimated annual revenue of about $27 million.
“From what I’ve seen we have an excellent medical staff for a rural community,” Hudspeth said. “The clinics have recruited four or five new doctors. It’s nice to have a full cadre of docs in the community.”
Hudspeth said the recent addition of an orthopedic surgeon at the medical center helps fill a void in one of the specialties in the Jamestown medical community.
“We’re also talking to the clinics about bringing in full-time or part-time specialists in cardiology and oncology services,” he said.
Meanwhile, the hospital is working to get extra signage around Jamestown to direct people to the new hospital.
“It’s a beautiful place to work,” he said. “I hear it said it is the nicest hospital in North Dakota and possibly the Midwest and I believe it.”
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org