Hospital board hears about CT scanner

This article submitted by Michael Jacobson on 10/6/99.

The Paynesville Area Hospital District Board of Directors covered routine business at their regular monthly meeting last Wednesday night, Sept. 29.

Mark Dingmann, head of the radiology department, presented the board with a financial analysis of a CT scanner. The hospital system is considering upgrading their current scanner, and one possibility would be to purchase a multi-slice scanner. This state-of-the-art machine would enable the hospital to do a number of new tests, including using the scanner for preventative checks.

Dingmann said the system's current scanner, new two years ago, needs a bigger generator to allow for increased volume. The idea of an upgrade came about when a salesman suggested the option of upgrading for $40,000.

Since then, the system has taken up the idea of upgrading to a more sophisticated CT scanner, which would be capable of doing more procedures.

Currently, some of these are out-of-pocket expenses for patients, but Medicare has started recognizing some for reimbursement, a trend that hospital system administrator Willie LaCroix called significant.

Dr. Randy Zimmerman, chief of the medical staff, told the board that the multi-slice scanner could be used for preventative tests on asymptomatic patients and could do tests that the system currently has to transfer to St. Cloud.

This topic will be on the agenda for the Joint Conference Committee Meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 12. That committee consists of the board and the physician's group. "I think the ultimate decision needs to come from the medical staff," said board member Don Anderson.

•The board approved turning four overdue, unpaid accounts over for collection. The accounts, which range from $2,000 to $11,000, total over $21,000.

•The Integrated Health Center will hold an open house on Sunday, Oct. 17, from 1 to 3 p.m. "We expect to have a lot of people there,"Ęsaid LaCroix. "(Dr. Tom Sult has) really been busy over there." Chiropractic business, LaCroix added, is picking up.

•The board approved a consulting contract with Deloitte and Touche for the next year.

•Construction of the Richmond Clinic is still on schedule. The system hopes to move in over Thanksgiving weekend and open in the new building in early December.

•The board directed the administration in negotiations with prospective buyers of the old Richmond Clinic building. The board indicated that if a sale was not made soon, the building should be listed with a realtor.

•The PAHCS Auxiliary will be hosting a spaghetti supper on Tuesday, Oct. 12, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at 700 Stearns Place. The auxiliary is raising funds for a wandering system in the Koronis Manor. So far, $15,000 has been raised. The wandering system would be installed when the nursing home is remodeled, which could start next spring.

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