Regional Service Authority – Ballot Issue 6A

Did you know that YOU (the taxpayers of Ouray County) actually own the building, equipment, and medical trade fixtures in MMC?

Ouray County residents should have begun receiving their mail-in ballots over the weekend. As you take the time to research the issues to fill out your ballot as a well-informed voter, please take the time to read the below release from the Ouray County Regional Service Authority regarding the importance of voting YES on 6A. If you are not familiar with the RSA, here is a short bio from their website:

Ouray County’s Regional Service Authority (RSA) is tasked with the responsibility to ensure that medical services remain available in Ouray County. The RSA was established by the voters of the county to provide a medical facility and to contract with a medical provider(s). The RSA, representing taxpayers, owns the clinic facility, and its equipment and medical trade fixtures. The RSA is not a medical entity and does not interfere with the operations of the provider, but rather makes the clinic facilities available, for consideration, to the provider for use in a medical practice.

Since 2000, the Ouray County Regional Services Authority has been overseeing and administrating the mil levy passed to ensure that there will be available medical services for Ouray County residents and citizens.  The RSA has successfully secured and managed the Mountain Medical Center building (located at 295 Sherman St, Ridgway), acquired and purchased equipment and medical records software, as well as streamlined communications and operations with the current medical provider.

The following information was recently shared by the RSA, and we wanted to make sure our patients had the opportunity to read it so that they knew how important it is to vote YES on Ballot Issue 6A to help keep medical services present in Ouray County.

In 2000, St. Mary’s Hospital, operators of the medical clinic in Ridgway, announced closure of the clinic. St. Mary’s considered it unprofitable as it was operating at a loss. Concerned residents and public leaders realized without the clinic there would be no access to primary medical care within Ouray County. Their response was to consider a plan to purchase the medical building and contract with medical providers.

The proposal was for formation of the Ouray County Regional Service Authority (RSA) whose mission would be to own the fully equipped facility and to contract with appropriate providers for medical services. The proposal was presented on the 2000 ballot and was approved by Ouray County voters along with a 10-year, one (1) mill levy.

The RSA board immediately negotiated the purchase of the medical facility under a 10-year loan and began contracting for medical services. In 2009, voters approved a reduced one-quarter (1/4), 10-year mill levy. In 2011, the building mortgage was paid in full.

Since 2000, the county has had a medical practice in continuous operation in the Mountain Medical Center facility. The RSA has funded significant updates to the building in infrastructure and equipment. In 2008, driven by changes in the health care industry and Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial insurance reimbursement, the RSA contracted for the conversion from paper charts to electronic health records software and equipment.

The RSA and the medical practice are faxed with new challenges coming from COVID-19 virus dictating new operational protocols and precautions for the safety of patients and staff alike. Interior modifications of the building are required to efficiently and safely managed patient flow. This will put further burden on the RSA budget and financial reserve.

The RSA will be asking voters of Ouray County to once again consider the importance of assuring primary medical care to be continuously available in the county by approving a new 10 year tax levy. The average homeowner with a house valued at $400,000 will pay just $10.73 annually to guarantee the availability of medical services in the county.

– RSA Board

Per the RSA (see excel document below), if they would have continued their 1/4 mill funding request that was in place the last 10 years, there would not have been enough funds for projects or to replace the parking lot or sidewalk, both of which need attention in the next decade. The requested 3/8 mill will provide funding at average projected budget level for 10 years and will allow for funds to replace the parking lot and sidewalk.

Thank you for taking the time to be a well informed voter and for supporting keeping medical services in Ouray County.

Vote Yes on 6A!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: