DARLINGTON – The Hospital Committee created a subcommittee to look into purchasing land in the Village of Argyle for the purpose of building a new two-provider clinic at their meeting Thursday, Dec. 21.
Memorial Hospital of Lafayette County (MHLC) Administrator Julie Chikowski informed the board that things are going well at the clinic. Work is being done on the basement and visits have been up. She stated that it would continue to be a one-provider clinic until they can look into something different.
“Once we get the other clinics situated, then we can look into supporting a two-person clinic in Argyle at some point,” Chikowski stated.
Dr. Matt Solverson addressed a rumor that has been going around that they plan on pulling the clinic out of Argyle. Chikowski answered that was not the case and it was their long-term plan to stay in Argyle and create the two-person clinic.
Chairman Jack Sauer commented that recently SSM Health, which owns St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison, purchased Monroe Clinic and there is a rumor that they plan on building a new clinic in Monroe.
“If they are going to expand, I think we should do something in Argyle to make it a two-person clinic now, to be able to garnish some business off of Monroe. Looking for property and buying it will dispel the rumor that we plan on leaving,” Sauer stated.
MHLC Chief Operating Officer, Kathy Kuepers stated that they would need to be strategic about where to locate the building.
“The plan to start securing property is going to take some time. Once we are through with the Rural Health Clinic, then we can really focus on what the clinic needs to look like,” Kuepers stated.
Solverson suggested appointing a subcommittee to research land in Argyle.
Larry Ludlum made a motion with Jack Wiegel seconding for a committee, made up of Bob Boyle, Bev Anderson and Homer Evenstad, to look into purchasing land and work with the Village of Argyle to find a place to build a new two-provider clinic.
Update on Dialysis Space
Chikowski met with Miron Construction who is doing the build out for the dialysis space. The plans are for a four-exam room clinic with a waiting room to support two people. Miron Construction came back with a proposal to cut into some housekeeping space and potentially have a five-exam room clinic with a wait space for four to five people. It was approved at the last Lafayette County Board meeting for the project to not exceed $294,000 for 1,100 sq. ft. The new plan would be 1,600 sq. ft. and a cost not to exceed $380,000. Chikowski commented that the additional exam room could create an additional $1.3 million in gross revenue.
Sauer asked where they planned on coming up with the additional $86,000.
Chikowski stated it would all be supported out of cash flow.
“The plan is to max out the current loan to protect cash. Anything IT related we can put on our EPIC loan. In addition, anything that makes sense to put on the clinic loan, we put on the loan to help max out the loan and protect our cash, so we have the ability to support it and not have to ask for more money,” Chikowski explained.
Homer Evenstad asked if the county would be able to support the extra exam room.
Chikowski said yes. They have outgrown their space. The hospital is adding new providers and specialists, some of which are in great demand in the surrounding area.
Solverson stated that the hospital has obtained an Urologist and there is not enough urology or neurology in southwest Wisconsin. This could provide the provider to expand his time at the clinic.
Bob Boyle asked if they could break it down into where the revenue comes from, be in Lafayette County or even out of state.
“We have done something in the last four months that no other hospital in the system has done. As we continue to recruit these specialists to take care of our needs here in Lafayette county, we need the space,” Chikowski added.
The motion was made by Jack Wiegel and seconded by Larry Ludlum. It passed unanimously.