Medical Staff By-Laws
HGH Chief of Staff Len Perkinson said Medical Staff, which includes all physicians at the facility, are nearly finished revising their by-laws. Dr. Perkinson said the physicians will be voting on the new document at their August meeting, bringing this multi-year project to a successful close.
Additionally, Dr. Perkinson updated the board on the local, state and national opioid epidemic. He said the issue has nearly reached a "boiling point" for both providers and patients.
Legislation that took effect in January 2018 has made it nearly impossible for providers to provide ongoing treatment locally; as of right now, no HGH providers are prescribing opioid medications for chronic pain. This means that patients are now required to seek treatment from pain specialists out of area, creating new financial and physical burdens.
"It's not that our doctors don't want to prescribe," said Dr. Perkinson, "they can't. It is such a huge burden to monitor these patients, and the situation is forecast to get worse."
He added, "My heart, as a provider, goes out to every one of these people."
Dr. Perkinson said the combined healthcare system, community and medical staff needs to petition the state medical board for "tools" that will help providers find appropriate solutions for their patients. "As a healthcare district we need to create a consensus statement that says 'enough is enough.'"
The board agreed that a combined letter from all eight member hospitals of the Nevada Rural Health Partners network would be more powerful than a single letter from HGH. Chairman Casalez also asked that the hospital help educate the community regarding the local opioid crisis. Trustee Jennifer Hood agreed: "Let us all get smart and educated about what is going on here."