MRMC looks at employing a rural health physician/hospitalist

The Magnolia Regional Medical Center Board of Commissioners voted Monday to authorize Administrator Margaret West to move forward with pursuing a “hybrid program” under which the hospital would employ a rural health physician/hospitalist.

West reported there is a potential candidate for this position who will be visiting Magnolia in the near future.

This program, she said, would allow physicians to remain in their offices during the day. MRMC currently has hospitalist coverage by Dr. Eric Henriksen from 6 p.m. Friday through 6 a.m. Monday.

Another option previously explored was a hospitalist program which would cost $55,000 per month ($600,000 annual minimum), based on 10 encounters per day. After 10 encounters, an additional $80 per encounter would be charged. There would be no reduction in the $55,000 monthly fee if patient census drops.

Dr. Henriksen estimated he currently sees an average of 20 patients a day.

“This may be something that we can have 24/7,” West said, “but we must take it – I’ll put baby steps – because it is an expensive program. We have to be sure the hospital can financially support this program before we do it.”


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