The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

The Tea at BSMC


February 22, 2023

What’s “The Tea”? It is the 411, the lowdown, the news, the happenings... it’s the latest here at Big Sandy Medical Center. People have always been the heart of BSMC, so you are invited to Tea, right here, with all the latest information about your hometown Medical Center.

We’re almost through February and just a little over a month from the first day of spring. We were able to come out of “outbreak” status at the end of January, and due to the low numbers of Covid cases are in a “low” risk status. This means masks are optional inside the facility! Roberta Edwards has brought some beautiful craft activities to the folks to celebrate the Day of Love. The residents also enjoyed many visitors and lots of love on Valentine’s Day. Families came to celebrate with their parents and spouses, some ladies from the Methodist Church popped in for a visit, and some young men from the FFA Chapter hand delivered Valentine cards to the folks here. There is never a shortage of love and care inside these walls, but the extra smiles are always welcomed and appreciated.

Progress on preparing the new clinic building and subsequently starting the remodeling project is sitting in the hands of Mother Nature. The next step for the clinic is to survey the property and get the gravel moved in before getting the building set and put together. However, that cannot happen until the snow has melted. There was a team in the current building gathering data to create 3D images of the building to aid in creating plans for the remodel. The goal of the remodeling project will be to make room for the CT machine and provide better use of the space that will be left vacant after the clinic moves into its new space.

The kitchen remodel project is coming along at a slightly faster pace. The quotes for equipment have been received and approved. The construction quote is still pending. Plans are in the works for keeping resident meals on the table during the process. The generator continues to wait for final parts before becoming operational.

With the help of the Montana Hospital Association, the facility brought in a Compliance Consultant in the first week of February. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires specific standards be met by every facility who provides care to people using Medicare and/or Medicaid services. These standards include everything from fire safety to infection control to direct patient care practices. The information provided by the Consultant helps us to identify areas that require more diligence from our staff and areas where current practices are surpassing the expectations of CMS. As a Critical Access Hospital, it is expected that annual surveys will be completed. The Covid-19 Pandemic caused some disruption to that routine, but the facility does expect a survey from CMS “anytime now.”

While the facility continually works at maintaining CMS standards, the number one goal is to always serve our patients in the best way possible. It has become clear that an area of frustration for you, the patient, is the billing process. To mitigate that frustration and improve our service, a Billing Specialist will be on site to help improve the process. She will assess and re-educate all staff in every step of the journey from registration to when the patients receive a statement from the facility. She has been working with the staff in the billing and medical records departments for some time now and is coming to the facility with a deep understanding of our facility, our systems, and our patients. We thank you for your patience as we continue to find ways to improve your experience here at Big Sandy Medical Center. Thank you for being the heart of BSMC.


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