Carson-Tahoe board to discuss progress of affiliation

A report on the progress of affiliation discussions will be presented at Carson-Tahoe Hospital's Board meeting Thursday.

Triad, Universal Health Systems and Sutter were recently chosen as the three health care organizations being considered for affiliation.

Triad, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is a spinoff of the Columbia Hospital system. With hospitals located throughout the United States, the organization specializes in hospitals of the same size and market as Carson-Tahoe.

Universal Health Systems, based in King of Prussia, Pa., is presently affiliated with three hospitals in Las Vegas, as well as Northern Nevada Medical Center in Sparks. This partnership, according to Carson-Tahoe's chief executive officer Steve Smith, would create the strongest health system in the state.

Sutter is a not-for-profit organization that concentrates heavily in Northern California and controls about half the market in the San Francisco and Sacramento areas.

Site visits with these organizations should be completed today and will be narrowed sometime before the end of August. Recommendations from the affiliation committee should be announced in early fall, according to Marketing Director Richard Linkul.

Affiliation could take any form including buy-out, lease, lease-manage, or a management agreement. It is hoped the move will ensure the continuing financial and technological viability of the hospital.

The Board of Trustees will convene about 9 p.m. following meetings of the Building and Finance Committees.

In other business:

- The Finance Committee, which convenes about 6:30 p.m., will include discussion on management retention bonuses. Under this proposal, top management would be offered a benefit package to stay on during and after consummation of any affiliation agreement. This would include three payout periods and cost about $144,900 for the 14 directors in the pool. Money will be taken from the hospital's board designated funds. The proposal will also be discussed later in the evening during the Board of Trustees meeting.

- The building committee meeting, which will begin about 5:10 p.m., will include a discussion concerning the Andersen property, 7.8 acres of pasture land just north of the hospital on Mountain Street. Development of this parcel could help alleviate the pressure the hospital has for expanding further in and around the super block, but the move has met opposition from the surrounding residential neighborhood people.

- Discussion concerning a proposed partnership agreement with Carson Imaging to provide ultrasound services. Under the proposed agreement, the hospital would establish a limited partnership with Carson Imaging, which will own and provide all the equipment and supplies and hire the technicians required to provide the service. The hospital would provide space for the service under a lease agreement. The move could provide a pool of technologists to help the hospital with its staffing shortage, but Hospital Board Member Jo Saulisberry expressed reservations.

"It's got to be advantageous for hospital and patient," she said.

Discussions concerning this issue are slated for both the Financial Committee and Board of Trustee meetings.

What: Carson-Tahoe Hospital Board of Trustees, Finance Committee, and Building Committee Meetings

When: 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 10

Where: Pinon Plaza Casino Resort, 2171 U.S. 50 East, Juniper Room


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