Steamboat briefs for Dec. 11

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YVMC to receive more Medicare funds from state

Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs is slated to receive additional Medicare reimbursement funding under a provision written by Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., according to a news release.

"They're changing the way that they're calculating the costs, which ultimately affects the reimbursement for the payment we receive," said Frank May, YVMC's chief administrative and financial officer.

Colorado has 15 sole community hospitals, which primarily serve rural and isolated parts of the state. YVMC is one of them.

Sole community hospitals are paid-for inpatient Medicare services based on a prospective payment rate or cost-based rate, whichever is higher, the release stated. Under the old law, target amounts were determined using a hospital's 1982, 1987 or 1996 cost years. The new law allows hospitals to also use the 2006 cost year in determining the target amount. YVMC will receive nearly $1.7 million in additional funds, the news release stated.

The hospital cannot yet verify that amount, May said.

"It's going to help us provide additional services and be able to keep up with the rising cost of service. : We do see it as a benefit to our facility and to the whole community," May said.

Colorado hospitals that will be affected include St. Mary's Hospital and Medical Center in Grand Junction, Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs and Vail Valley Medical Center, according to the release.

Nicotine quit kits available at Steamboat VNA office

Free nicotine patches or gum are available by calling the Colorado Quitline at 800-QUIT NOW (784-8669). Pick up your free Quit Kits, with no patches or gum included, at the Steamboat VNA office at 940 Central Park Drive, Suite 101, or the Craig VNA office at 745 Russell St.

Children can erase library fines through donations

During December, local children and teens with overdue charges at Bud Werner Memorial Library can eliminate their fines while helping local families in need, by participating in the library's annual Food for Fines Program. For every can of food children bring to the library, $1 of overdue fines will be canceled, up to $10. Food will go to the LIFT-UP of Routt County Food Bank. The program is for youths 17 years old and younger. Visit www.steamboatlibrary.org/kids.

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