The recent article “RHCD moves forward with new plan to assist with future of health care” published on July 4 either misquoted me – or I misspoke – when it said I estimated over 95 percent of the people in Sublette County go elsewhere for healthcare services.
What I was attempting to convey is that there is a significant opportunity for the rural health care district (RHCD) to increase its revenues and profitability because over 95 percent of the health care revenues generated for health care services provided to county residents are currently spent outside of the county.
For example, a woman with breast cancer might have a mammogram and biopsy done at the Marbleton Clinic that might bring in $1,500 to the RHCD – including insurance remittances. She might also have a $25,000 lumpectomy done at St. Johns Medical Center in Jackson, $75,000 of chemotherapy also provided in Jackson, and $48,500 worth of radiation done at the Huntsman Cancer Institute at University of Utah. In this case, Sublette County is receiving 1 percent of the $150,000 generated to diagnose and treat a breast cancer patient.
Of the $90 million in health care revenues that Michael Curtis of the Neenan Company estimates is spent to provide health care services to Sublette County residents each year, the RHCD is projected to bring in $3.3 million in fiscal 2017, which equates to 3.7 percent of the $90 million annual opportunity. Thus, 96.3 percent of the revenues are spent outside of the county.
Note that the example above is not intended to suggest that any of those particular services will be offered in Sublette County. The Neenan Company is working with market researchers with expertise in rural health care to determine which services have the highest likelihood of increasing access to quality care in Sublette County while also increasing revenues and profitability for the RHCD.