“If we don’t obtain the hospital designation, the quality and availability of healthcare in Sublette County will decline, leading to higher mortality (death) rates and lower life expectancies.”

We rate this TRUE

If we don’t obtain the CAH designation, then the Sublette County Rural Healthcare District will begin drawing down on its reverses in 2019 and completely run out of reserves by 2022.  The only way to keep the clinics open and maintain emergency services would be for the County to allocate a higher portion of county tax revenues to the SCRHD and to find places to cut costs.  EMS services are the largest expense, so emergency services in Pinedale may be dropped from 24/7 to business hours only.  Emergency services in Marbleton/Big Piney could be dropped from business hours only to no services.  The Marbleton clinic may also need to be shut down entirely.

Impact:  Higher Mortality Rates and Shorter Life Expectancies

Numerous studies have correlated the time it takes to gain access to healthcare to higher mortality rates, both in terms of the number of minutes it takes for an ambulance to arrive and in terms of the number of days patients need to wait to obtain an appointment with a doctor, physician’s assistant (PA) or licensed nurse practitioner (LPN). [1] [2] [3]  In cases of cardiac arrest, which is a leading cause of death in the US, increasing response times by ten minutes can increase survival rates by nearly 100%.[4]

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1955366/

[2] http://www.naemsp.org/Documents/LLSA%20Articles/Emergency%20Medical%20Services%20response%20time%20and%20mortality%20in%20an%20urban%20setting.pdf

[3][3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC32251/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC32251/

*** Researched by Susan Barney

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