Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Three Rivers Hospital seeks renewal of levy to fund emergency room

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BREWSTER  – As Three Rivers Hospital looks to 2024, they have decided to ask voters to consider renewing a one-year property tax levy.

“We appreciate the previous support of our hospital district voters,” said Chief Executive Officer J. Scott Graham. “This funding has been invaluable for our emergency room operations.”

The hospital’s Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to approve Resolution 2023-02 during a special meeting on May 10, authorizing a ballot proposition for the levy.

The hospital is requesting the same amount that was approved by voters in 2021 and 2022: Thirty-three cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. If approved, the total estimated amount Three Rivers could receive in 2024 is about $1.15 million.

As with the last two levies, this funding would pay for ER operations and physician staffing, Graham said. The hospital contracts with STATUS Health Partners, formerly ERx Group, to provide 24/7 coverage in the ER and Acute Care.

“As a non-profit hospital, our goal financially is to break even through providing services,” Graham said. “However, insurance reimbursements don’t fully cover the cost of providing care in the ER setting.”

Property tax levies are not the only way the hospital seeks to cover operational costs.

“We do look at our other services where reimbursement is better, such as surgery, and try to find ways to increase revenue there,” said Business Development Coordinator Jennifer Best. “Most of that simply involves making sure the community knows what services we do offer. We also advocate on state and federal levels for better reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid, which are our largest payers.”

The 18-day voting period in Washington state began Friday, July 14 and ballots must be postmarked or turned in to an official ballot drop box by August 1.

Drop boxes in the Three Rivers Hospital district are available in the following locations:

  • Pateros at 180 Pateros Mall, near the bus stop
  • Twisp at 118 Glover Street, at City Hall
  • Bridgeport at 1206 Columbia Avenue, at City Hall
  • Mansfield at 26 Main Street, at City Hall
  • Winthrop at 51 State Highway 20, at the Winthrop Barn
  • More information about the levy and hospital can be found at www.threerivershospital.net. For direct questions about the levy, email Jennifer Best at media@trhospital.net, or call 509-645-3347.

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