County Commission News

On June 9, the Eureka County Board of Commissioners heard from the Medical Clinic Advisory Committee (MCAC) concerning requests for proposals for medical/clinical services in Eureka County.

Two proposals were received from William Bee Ririe Clinic and Renown.

In looking at the pro’s and con’s, Garney Damele for the MCAC noted William Bee Ririe’s close proximity to Eureka and WBR’s being a rural small community hospital and a smaller corporation is an advantage as well as their willingness to partner with Eureka and the Duckwater community. WBR’s small size was seen as a benefit versus Renown as a large conglomerate hospital and Damele said the MCAC “related better with their executive team” whom they found more responsive and understanding of “frontier medicine.”

Their affiliation with the University of Utah was also seen as an advantage as well as their ability to get specialists that come from St. George and areas in southern Nevada and Utah.

William Bee Ririe also said they would provide an opportunity to keep the existing staff to minimize interruption with the local clinic.

Both proposals included telemedicine. WBR offers a daily lab courier so blood samples from Eureka will go to Ely, resulting in a faster lab result for patients.

Two telemedicine carts need to be purchased for Eureka and Crescent Valley. Duckwater already has their own telemedicine cart.

The proposal from Renown involved a partnership with NVHC with NVHC as the on-site provider of medical care with Renown providing telemedicine.

The MCAC liked Renown’s nurse hotline and the potential of that nurse hotline and emergency care and their affiliation with Stanford medicine and the advanced nature of their telemedicine program. The MCAC received reports from the Tonopah Clinic, which is basically a telemedicine clinic run by Renown, that telemedicine is working there” and is “a proven technology, where Ririe’s is more in the adolescent stage, it’s not proven yet” and Eureka was noted by Damele to “have a very positive relationship we believe with the current provider who is employed by NVHC.”

Looking at the cost of Renown/NVHC, the cost allocated to administration site supervisors and directors entailed 50% of the expenses. The MCAC preferred to see the monies go to direct patient care and the Renown proposal provided only telemedicine for Duckwater and Crescent Valley with a midlevel travelling to Crescent Valley one day a month.

WBR’s staffing core includes a rotating physician that would rotate between all three clinics with the ability to go to Duckwater and Crescent Valley as demand dictates. WBR didn’t really include any type of administration costs.

The MCAC in working with the Duckwater Shoshone Tribe recommended that the County go with WBR based on their analysis of the RFP with a separate contract between Duckwater and Eureka County with Duckwater paying Eureka County their share and the County as the contractor between entities.

The projected cost for a contract with Renown/NV Rural Health was $576,726 and with WBR $590,000 with the Duckwater Tribe contributing around $300,000 towards the WBR cost. Renown and NV Rural Health were not willing to go to Duckwater and were only offering telemedicine for Crescent Valley.

The commission chose to go with having William Bee Ririe out of Ely as the medical provider for Eureka County.

NVHC had been Eureka’s medical provider for 37 years.

The Commission approved adopting a response to the 2016 passage of Statewide Ballot Question 2, the initiative to regulate and tax marijuana, amending 2014 Eureka County Code, Title 6, Health & Welfare prohibiting marijuana dispensaries in Eureka County.

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