Wyoming locals forming new hospital after their only hospital cuts services: 10 details

Residents of a small Wyoming town are trying to build a hospital after the only one in their city stopped essential services like delivering babies and cut back on surgeries, according to an April 11 article published by The Wall Street Journal.

After one of the country's largest hospital chains, Nashville, Tenn.-based LifePoint Health, merged Riverton, Wyo.'s only hospital with another 30 miles away in Lander, it began consolidating services. With residents concerned about how cutbacks would affect their community, they launched an effort to create a new hospital.

Ten things to know:

  1. Residents say they are one step away from securing $40 million in low-interest loans from the U.S. Agriculture Department. The Eastern Shoshone Native American tribe offered to use their land for the new hospital's location.

  2. LifePoint is attempting to disrupt the efforts by lobbing the Biden administration and Wyoming senators to oppose the project, the Journal reports.

  3. The CEO of LifePoint's Wyoming hospitals, John Ferrelli, said in a statement the new hospital "will not fill gaps in care." He said the merger was to better serve patients and that both markets are currently well served.

  4. Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon, a Republican, called on Apollo Global Management, the private equity firm that backs LifePoint, to be aware of how its business choices affect Wyoming residents. He said the merger was not what LifePoint promised the community and the company can still reverse it.

  5. U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said he supported the Riverton residents' efforts. Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., said she supported choice in healthcare, especially if residents feel there is a lack of quality care.

  6. Residents said having to drive farther for care puts people at risk, especially in the winter when roads are difficult to navigate.
  7. Data shows that air ambulance rides from Fremont County, where Riverton is located, jumped to 937 in 2019 from 155 in 2014 after the merger.

  8. Sanitation issues at LifePoint's Lander facility are another worry for residents. Over several years, the state found the hospital used unsanitary surgical tools with some containing the dried blood of previous patients.

  9. Wyoming's Department of Health urged LifePoint to properly staff their facilities so surgical tools would be correctly sanitized. Mr. Ferelli says the hospital worked with industry experts to resolve the problem.

  10. The Riverton group has had extensive talks with the USDA and plans to formally submit its loan request this spring. If approved, the group says it could break ground on a new hospital later this year.

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars