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Renville County Hospital cuts COO position in anticipation of reduced reimbursements from BC/BS

OLIVIA — Renville County Hospital board members eliminated the chief operating officer position at their meeting on Tuesday.

The unanimous vote was part of the hospital’s on-going efforts to reduce operating costs in expectation of reductions in reimbursements from Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Changes by the insurer to begin May 1 will result in an estimated reduction in reimbursements to the RC Hospital and Clinics of $525,000 in the coming fiscal year, according to information presented to the board by Nathan Blad, interim administrator.

The action eliminates the position held by Dave Dunn, who had served as administrator of the Prairie Family Clinics. The clinics were merged with the county-owned hospital system in 2007, and Dunn continued as COO with the RC Hospital and Clinics system.

In anticipation of the Blue Cross Blue Shield reductions, the hospital has also renegotiated its therapy services contract with Big Stone Therapies. It’s also looking at changes to its role in providing community-based meals.

In a separate matter, the hospital board anticipates receiving a report on the investigation concerning hospital administrator Glenn Haugo in the next week or two.

Haugo is currently on paid administrative leave.

Board members placed the administrator on leave in late January, and retained Attorney Ann Goering of the Ratwik, Roszak and Maloney firm of Minneapolis, to conduct the investigation. Goering handles public employee issues, and has worked with Renville County on personnel matters in the past.

 Hospital board members placed Haugo on leave after allegations were brought to them concerning what were described as job performance issues.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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