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CRMC releases plans for April 20 public meeting

Cuyuna Regional Medical Center's Governing Board is hosting a public information meeting at 6:30 p.m. April 20 on its proposal to move from a public hospital to a nonprofit.

Cuyuna Regional Medical Center's Governing Board is hosting a public information meeting at 6:30 p.m. April 20 on its proposal to move from a public hospital to a nonprofit.

The meeting will take place at Heartwood Conference Room, 500 Heartwood Drive, Crosby.

CRMC announced the meeting at its March board meeting and released more details later on its website.

"The purpose of the meeting is, after a brief summary of the board's rationale for considering the conversion and the terms of the conversion, to receive the input of residents of the district regarding the potential conversion," CRMC states. "The meeting will be managed by CRMC legal counsel under the supervision of CRMC board chair."

In an outline of how the public will be able to participate, CRMC states people will be asked to sign up for the opportunity to speak at the beginning of the meeting. Each commenter will be allowed one opportunity of about five minutes to comment, which is subject to the board chairman's discretion.

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People wishing to comment in writing may do so at any time before April 20 by sending their written remarks to: gruby@cuyunamed.org and Cuyuna Regional Medical Center, 320 E. Main Street, Crosby MN 56441. Writers are asked to note on the envelope, if mailing remarks, or the subject line, if emailing, "April 20 Public Meeting."

Written remarks may also be provided in the same fashion through April 25, CRMC stated.

On the website, CRMC has a background and a list of frequently asked questions and answers. "One of the rationales for a conversion offered by the integrating physicians was the ability of a 501(c)3 organization to have physicians on its board of directors to provide the input of medicine to the board's deliberations. This would not be practical for a physician wishing to participate on the board of a hospital district like CRMC, because a physician would have to run for and win a seat on the district board."

In background information on its reasons to support the change, CRMC reported it compromised in the interim before seeking a nonprofit status by establishing a Leadership Council composed of an equal number of physicians and non-physician members to provide advice on CRMC operations.

"However, since the Leadership Council is essentially advisory, CRMC also agreed that, after the second year of its contracts with the two groups of integrating physicians, it would evaluate the wisdom of a potential conversion of the district's operation to a nonprofit, tax-exempt platform. CRMC is in the fifth year of the seven-year term of the physician contracts and the physicians continue to support a conversion so that the voice of medicine can be formally represented on the board."

Other notes:

โ€ข With a conversion, CRMC reports it would be subject to a requirement to continue the Care Center operations for at least five years.

โ€ข A new governing board would include two district board members and two physicians. CRMC reported it would remain independent and locally owned with a board that is more geographically representative of its service area with the majority of patients-at 65 percent-coming from outside the hospital districts as of 2015, which represents an increase from the 61 percent in 2014 and 2013.

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โ€ข Employees would transfer employment to the new organization at current pay rates with no material change in benefits. Employees would also receive credit for years of service and paid time off would transfer. Union agreements would be assumed.

โ€ข CRMC would provide an annual report on its performance to the district board.

โ€ข All CRMC providers would remain on staff and retain current privileges.

โ€ข CRMC's existing debt would remain in place. The new organization would be responsible for paying it.

โ€ข The district board would no longer operate CRMC. It would stay in existence to oversee the performance of the new company's duties to the district through a lease.

Go to cuyunamed.org for more details.

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