Lumping with Sac good for Rideout
Given a choice, the folks at Fremont-Rideout Health Group would prefer to be in Sacramento.
But they're not thinking of moving the hospitals. They just want the federal government, for Medicare purposes, to consider Yuba-Sutter to be part of Sacramento.
The goal is to get the feds to meld the Yuba City-Marysville Metropolitan Statistical Area with the Sacramento-ArdenArcade-Truckee Combined Statistical Area.
The goal, according to a letter from Jan Babiszewski, FRHG's chair, is to pump up Medicare reimbursement levels for Rideout Memorial Hospital, putting it “on a par with hospitals in the Sacramento MSA.”
Currently, the Marysville hospital “is at a significant disadvantage in that we must compete with the Sacramento-area hospitals for nurses and other technical healthcare specialists and match the wages paid by those other hospitals in order to successfully recruit quality employees, while at the same time receiving approximately 10 percent less reimbursement from the Medicare program for the same services provided,” Babiszewski wrote.
If the feds go along with the change, it “will benefit the Yuba County area by raising the average income level of the community and providing additional federal dollars to slow the growth in hospital prices and the consequent effect on health insurance premiums in our area,” said Babiszewski's Nov. 17 letter to Yuba and Sutter counties.
Both counties endorsed the proposal.
Ed Smith, Sutter County's Human Services director, noted in a memo to his supervisors that “hospitals receive 70 percent of the average wage paid within the MSA as a prospective payment for patients insured under the various federal insurance reimbursement programs. Because the wages paid in the Sacramento area are higher than the wages paid in the Sutter and Yuba MSA, combining the two MSA's would benefit the Fremont Rideout Health Group.”
The federal Medicare Geographic Classification Review Board will have the final say in all of this.
Just what are the salaries at Rideout? Well, its Form 990 statement filed with the IRS, covering July 2003 to June 2004, said 271 employees have salaries of at least $50,000. Compensation for the five highest paid employees ranged from $137,040 to $157,641.
As for the hospital, it reported revenue of $117.8 million and expenses of $107.2 million.
Say it ain't so, Jerry: Former Sacramento Kings coach and current broadcaster Jerry Reynolds is out with a new book, “Reynolds Remembers: 20 Years with the Sacramento Kings.”
Indeed, Reynolds remembers a lot in 182 pages, but he's a bit fuzzy about the Kings' preseason stint at Yuba College in 1985.
Our first training camp was held at Yuba College in Yuba
City, a bit north of Sacramento.
Well, he got the direction correct, but Yuba College, at last check, was not in Yuba City.
We stayed at a Best Western Motel called the Bonanza Inn, which was fine to me, but it sure wasn't the Ritz. The only thing to do there was concentrate on basketball, which is the way it should be. At about that time, one of those phony baloney nationwide surveys rated Yuba City the worst place in the United States to live.
Yes, that was Yuba City's time to shine when Rand McNally dubbed it and the rest of Yuba-Sutter the worst metropolitan area in the nation. You can't buy that kind of publicity.
At one practice, a guy came into the gym who looked like he was with the Hell's Angels. He said he had some friends outside who wanted to challenge the Kings to a game.
Oddly, the Kings turned down the offer.
Harold Kruger's column, Off Beat, appears on Sundays. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org; call him at 530-749-4717; or fax him at 530-741-0140. You can also write him at the Appeal-Democrat, P.O. Box 431, Marysville, CA 95901-0431.