Hospital negotiations

The main entrance to Campbell County Memorial Hospital in Gillette. Campbell County Health, which operates the hospital, has been negotiating with Colorado-based UCHealth on an affiliation agreement. County commissioners voted against the affiliation at a Tuesday meeting.

It’s back to the drawing board for Campbell County Health after the Campbell County Commissioners voted against a resolution that would’ve allowed the CCH board to enter into a contract to affiliate with Colorado-based nonprofit health care giant UCHealth.

Commissioners voted 3-2 against the resolution at their Tuesday morning meeting, with chairman Bob Maul casting the final and deciding vote.

Commissioners Del Shelstad and Colleen Faber also voted against it, while Commissioners Rusty Bell and D.G. Reardon supported affiliation.

The vote for now puts an end to months of negotiations between CCH and UCHealth.

CCH has eyed affiliation for years as a means to cut costs while benefiting from some of the perks enjoyed by larger health care networks. The move is not to cut staff or services, but to become more efficient by joining a larger partner and helping retain the jobs and service lines CCH brings to Gillette.

Because of a state law, CCH needed the commission's approval before moving forward. 

Maul said he voted against the potential move because he felt like the commissioners did not spend enough time being involved in the process.

While CCH has been working on this for “years and years,” Maul said, the commissioners have had it for “a few weeks.”

“I would’ve preferred to have more time to deal with it, a little more time for local input,” he said.

Shelstad said “the vast majority” of people he’s talked to, including those in the local health care industry, are opposed to the affiliation, and for that reason he voted against it.

Before the vote, Bell asked what would be the next step for CCH if the commissioners didn’t approve the resolution. CCH board chairman Adrian Gerrits said the trustees would have to go back and reanalyze its budget to “figure out what we’re going to do to make things work in the future.”


Gerrits asked Maul if he’d be willing to be involved in re-working the potential contract or if he thought affiliation is “a dead issue.”

“I’m willing to put in whatever hours it takes to come up with the right solution,” Maul said. “This doesn’t shut down the avenue that you’re on.”

(4) comments

jill

Great news! All we need is another out of state firm destroying our health services...

Cap'n Bumbleguts

No doubt a kneejerk reaction to the word "Colorado". Colorado currently sits at 10th in the country for healthcare rankings. Wyoming is at 38th. Keep up the good work, commissioners!

bbwilliams

I tend to look at it that the commissioners were fully aware that there was a time table. They chose to disregard that timetable and instead make an authoritarian play where they say they don't trust the Hospital board members, who I believe are also elected officials, and instead of taking the time to get the information they need from the board they could act all high and mighty and reject improved healthcare until they get enough attention to satisfy their egos, then maybe they will be benevolent and hand down some godly rule to allow us to have improved healthcare because of them and not so much the work of the hospital board.

sambennett

Now the commission- Shelstad, Faber and Maul-. can put CCH on the market. Not for profit or for profit they won't care. Just divest the county of the the health care system in Campbell County. Shelstad has already voiced this. He can hardly wait and Faber and Maul follow in his footsteps. Look out Campbell Co. We will have urgent care and a first aid station. All other health services will be out of town. Time for all citizens to educate themselves on what medical services are available in our county thru CCH. I know from experience that if you need medical care chronic or emergency you need it here where you live. Not driving somewhere.

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