2013-02-07 / Top News

Management contract with St. Alexius brings benefits to the Linton Hospital


St. Alexius donated two patient chairs to the Linton Hospital that would have cost nearly $2,500 if purchased new. Chief Nursing Officer Lukas Fischer, left, and CEO/ Administrator Robert Black said the chairs were badly needed. St. Alexius donated two patient chairs to the Linton Hospital that would have cost nearly $2,500 if purchased new. Chief Nursing Officer Lukas Fischer, left, and CEO/ Administrator Robert Black said the chairs were badly needed. The Linton Hospital recently received two patient chairs from St.Alexius Medical Center that would have cost $2,500 if purchased new.

“We are needing to replace some of the patient chairs in our hospital rooms, so these chairs were greatly appreciated,” Linton Hospital CEO/ Administrator Robert Black said.

For hospitals that are affiliated with St. Alexius Medical Center in Bismarck, St. Alexius offers and donates furniture and equipment that their facility may no longer need.

The donation of chairs was only a small portion of the benefits the Linton Hospital and Clinics will receive from the management service agreement they have with St. Alexius.

In June of 2012, the Linton Hospital Board signed a management agreement with St. Alexius in order to obtain the assistance they were seeking.

During the process of locating an ideal candidate for the Linton Hospital administrator position, the board was made aware that management services were available from larger facilities.

“Our board looked at finding a facility that was neither too large nor too small and that understood the area and community we serve,” Linton Hospital Board President Spencer Larson said. “That’s why we chose St. Alexius.”

In addition to the furniture donation, another benefit has been St. Alexius’ assistance in the hiring process of CEO/ Administrator Robert Black, Chief Nursing Officer Lukas Fischer and Physician Assistant Alice Schatz.

The Linton Hospital Board has long known how difficult it is to locate potential candidates for rural health care facilities. St. Alexius staff assisted them in finding and hiring the candidates.

Recruiting of physicians and mid-level staff has also been a demanding task for the board, as it is for many hospitals, especially in rural areas.

“Recruiting primary care physicians is very difficult and takes a lot of time,” Black said.

St. Alexius has its own recruiter and a successful recruiting process. They have contacts, useful networks and their staff visit universities where physicians are graduating.

“Through our management agreement with St. Alexius, they are able to help us recruit and hire physicians and midlevels, such as Alice Schatz,” Black said. “That is very significant to us as we just do not have the resources.”

Another benefit of the management agreement is that Linton Hospital and Clinics have access to a group purchasing participation program. Through a St. Alexius’s supplier, the Linton Hospital is now able to receive a significant discount on consumable supplies used on a daily basis.

“That development will save us a significant amount of dollars on supply orders and small equipment,” Black said.

With the whole health atmosphere and environment becoming so complex, the Linton Hospital Board also found a need to acquire expertise in the fields of financial management, human resources, medical technology and ever-changing government rules and regulations.

“Our past administration at the Linton Hospital has put exceptional efforts in managing and administering the facility,” Larson said.

St. Alexius staff have pro- vided consulting expertise on preparing budgets and cost reports and have given advice on reimbursements through Medicare, Medicaid and Blue Cross/Blue Shield. They have also been resourceful in the preparation of grants.

“That financial expertise is critical as finance, reimbursement and cash flow are the lifeline of any hospital,” Black said.

The Linton Hospital Board and Black are looking forward to the relationship, benefits and services that are an outcome of the affiliation with St. Alexius Medical Center.

“We are hoping to bring as many services as we can to our patients,” said Black. “We will be engaging the community in the near future on what kinds of services they would like us to bring to the hospital and clinics.”

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