The Ector County Hospital District board approved spending more than $1 million during their regular meeting Tuesday night for three different items.
The most expensive item approved was an $896,000 project that calls for renovation of 6,500 square feet on the fourth floor of the Wheatley Stewart Medical Pavilion. The area will be renovated to expand the ENT suite already located there.
Matt Collins, vice president of Support Services, said there was $900,000 budgeted and reserved in capital for Fiscal Year 2017 for the project. Seven general contractors responded to the bid, which Collins said is more contractors than they’ve had bid on a project in a long time.
Cooper Construction was awarded the contract with the lowest bid coming in at $692,000. Architect and engineering fees, furniture and equipment will account for the additional $204,000 of the project.
“Because our ears, nose and throat are so important to communication and just general feeling of health and well being, it’s very important to the quality of life for Odessans and many Odessans rely on this vital specialty. At this point, the Odessa area is really underserved with ENT physicians,” Collins said.
Two MCH ProCare doctors are currently the only two ENT physicians and between the two of them, Collins said they serve more than 1,000 patients a month.
“They’re backed up into May for appointments at this point and in fact, MCH is heavily recruiting for a third ENT to meet this community need. So with this burgeoning community need comes the need to provide space for these physicians to practice,” he said.
After the consolidation of OBGYNs, Collins said there was space available in the Wheatley Stewart building.
The $896,000 project was approved unanimously by the board.
A new $173,893.25 ultrasound system requested by the Department of Radiology was approved unanimously, as well. The EPIQ 7G Ultrasound System will replace a refurbished 1994 model at the Center for Health and Wellness Radiology OP Imaging.
Carol Evans, divisional director for imaging services and central transport, listed a number of ongoing issues with the outdated model including difficulty controlling Color Doppler for seemingly easy exams of certain organs, not being able to set protocols on the unit which increases the length of exam time, inability to do 3D for coronal image of a uterus with patients who have IUDs for placement check, and errors occurring when the unit is turned on causing the machine to be rebooted.
Evans said when comparing images performed with newer units, the images from the new units are much sharper and well defined. At times they have even had to request patients to return for imaging at the main facility to image possible pathology more clearly.
The least expensive item approved was an insurance consulting extension John Riggs, senior vice president and CFO, said it was a renewal of an agreement with HealthSure Insurance Services they have had for several years.
Riggs said the price they are paying for the consulting agreement is staying the same–$65,000 per year for two years. A two- to three-year agreement is typical for insurance consulting, he added.
“As you continue to grow in your assets, things cost more as far as insurance and so with this consulting agreement we don’t have to pay premiums on the cost of the insurance and so HealthSure is basically keeping their cost the same,” he said.
IN OTHER BUSINESS
The board of directors also discussed a summary of obligation for tax support, which showed a shortfall of $13 million over a four-month period, an external audit report, a Financial Resource Group agreement and the Fiscal Year 2016 Medical Center Health System Annual Report.