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Some patrons demand new board for Arco hospital

On Wednesday evening, an Idaho town heard from its community hospital after news of a federal Medicaid investigation of the Lost Rivers Medical center in Arco surfaced earlier this month.

Last week, hospital administrator Kim Dahlman said the hospital had violated Medicaid rules by employing an unlicensed person in a supervisory role to oversee the hospital’s Living Center nursing home.

Wednesday was the first time the community was able to meet with hospital administrators and voice concerns.

The dozen or so community members who came to the Wednesday night board meeting said they have many concerns about the hospitals management.

The meeting became especially heated when Dahlman presented a very general outline of the hospital’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Board member Michelle Holt questioned why Dhalman had significantly padded the budget in 3 different places in anticipation for hiring a single additional physician. Holt said it misrepresented expenses to the public.

It was after Holt’s comments that several people in attendance actually called out, demanding new leadership in the board.

Zebby Davison was one of them. She said the hospital is so mismanaged she offered to join the board herself.

“You don’t see an overturn in administration. You’ll never see any of that,” she said.

Davison’s sentiments were echoed by several other community members at the meeting who asked for changes to the board.

“They’ve been here it’s the good ‘ol boys and they’re not going to change,” she said. “If you want this hospital to grow it needs to have a new administration, I believe.”

After revelations about budget troubles, the entire budget was tabled for Dahlman to completely revamp.

The board said they would make public notice of the new, detailed budget when it becomes available. The board also offered to make a detailed report of last year’s budget available to the public in order for comparisons to be made.

Jake Erickson, a representative from Bingham Memorial Hospital also confirmed Lost Rivers Hospital is managed by BMH during the Wednesday night meeting.

The hospital board told community members on Wednesday they were appreciative of the community’s interest in the hospital.

Chairman Steve Tibbits told our station county commissioners rarely attend open board meetings and he invited them to attend more often.

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