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Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center. Dan Smith photo.

The Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center (HRRMC) board received the 2022 audit report covering hospital district operations from accounting firm FORVIS LLP on March 21. Tammy Rivera of FORVIS made the detailed presentation, looking at things such as debt service ratio, accounts receivable, liabilities and the district’s net position, days of cash on hand, and more.

Though the district was ranked as generally in a good position, in fact better than many other rural hospitals, as CEO Bob Morasko pointed out, copies of the report, provided to board members Tuesday were not given to the media by deadline, despite pre-meeting requests.

Ark Valley Voice will provide details once they are made available.

The board also heard from Finance Committee head Dean Edwards, in discussing the recent millage tax refunds paid to district taxpayers after a long-term discrepancy with the process was discovered.

The $2.3 million dollar cost to the district to finance the refunds, he said, along with other cost adjustments that had to be dealt with did not affect “the financial health of the hospital profitability or anything of that nature.”

He characterized the refunds as technically “A balance sheet issue” that were not material at the board level of understanding regarding the profitability and operation of the hospital.”

In the Administrative reports, Marketing and Public Relations Director Allison Gergley reported that she and her staff fielded hundreds of calls asking what the TABOR refund checks were about, apparently unaware of the news stories in Ark Valley Voice and other media.

She said that some callers thought the hospital issued the refund because it had overcharged them for a bill. Staff recorded a voicemail with specific information, and a webpage was created directing people to information on the tax refunds. The report observed; “Moving forward, placing this information in more communications avenues in preparation, could help diffuse situations like this from occurring in the future.”

CEO Bob Morasko reported receiving two construction bids on employee housing units and the hospitality house from local contractors. The HRRMC Foundation Board and the Facilities Committee were to explore relocating the proposed facility to a lot near Solvista Health and the Rocky Mountain Eye Center on the HRRMC campus. The Delnay Trust approved using a generous $1.5 million donation for the facilities and cost estimates for a residential facility are in process.

Morasko also reported that phase one of the wound center at the hospital is complete. while a construction quote came in substantially higher than anticipated, he said a reduction in the quote was being worked on.

Vice President of Fiscal Services Lesley Fagerberg presented the budget report for February, noting net patient revenue totaled $20,648,542, with other operating revenue pegged at $947,602 for a total operating revenue of $21,596,144 (slightly over budget). Total operating expenses for the month were $19,952,795 (slightly under budget). Fagerberg reported 224 days of cash on hand, reserves to include both long and short-term.

Morasko also introduced the board to Karen Miller, Vice President of Finance, who will take over duties from Vice President of Fiscal Services Lesley Fagerberg, who is retiring April 21.

In other action, the board approved capital purchases, including an Abbott iSTAT Analyzer for Radiology for just under $12,000; a Space Labs Patient Monitor for Same Day Surgery to replace an old model that quit working, at a cost of $19.320; and an Olympus Gastrointestinal Endoscope and Tower System to replace a leased unit at a cost of of $578,232.