10 W Fallon Ave Baker, MT 59313
Fallon County of Montana

FMC Board of Trustees Meeting January 2023

FMC Board of Trustees Meeting January 2023



Wednesday, January 4, 2023

MEMBERS PRESENT                                           ABSENT                  

Doug Varner, Vice-President                                 Betty Mueller, President

Alice Kay Schweigert, Board Member

Curt Arnell, Board Member

Elaine Stanhope, Board Member

David Kirschten, Board Member

Evelyn Neary, Board Member

            OTHERS PRESENT                      

            David Espeland, CEO

            Marjorie Losing, CFO

            Marissa Skogen, Recorder


Vice President Doug Varner, in President Betty Mueller’s absence, called the meeting of the FMC Board of Trustees to order at 5:30 p.m. in the FMC Community Room.

  1. – Jason Griffith was present, but offered no public input.


Margie shared that the accounts receivable (AR) days will increase, not decrease, as December 7, 2022 minutes indicated, due to the new electronic medical record (EMR) conversion. Upon recognition of this correction, the minutes stand approved. The September 7, 2022 board minutes were addressed and a decision was made to approve the minutes as long as it is indicated that Elaine voted “nay” towards the “Trustee Qualifications & Letters of Interest to Serve on the Board” policy that was mentioned in those minutes.


Marjorie Losing informed the board that the money for the investment account has been deposited. Jim Cusimano, CFP is setting everything up and Margie should have statements for the board next month. Since implementing Thrive, TruBridge is printing FMC’s statements. All billing is still being done internally, but TruBridge prints the statements due to a cost analysis proving that this option is more financially responsible than printing in-house. Patient issues that have arisen as a result of the decision are being addressed and taken care of.  They are largely due to our conversion to Thrive and the information that TruBridge is pulling for the statements.

Margie presented the November 2022 financials to the Board of Trustees. November was a slow month with 5 Inpatient Days and 4 Skilled Days. November’s Gross Revenue was $724,799 while the budgeted amount was $887,443. Net Operating Revenue was $906,007 while the budgeted amount was $908,582. Expenses for the month of November were $1,621,690. Operating Loss for the month of October was ($715,683) while the Net Loss was ($711,893). November 2022 is the first month FMC went live in the Thrive system and the November financials will reflect the costs associated with the implementation. Also, the 3R system incorrectly put PTO as an expense when it should be a liability so the expenses are overinflated by about $220,000 and ultimately skews the operating loss. It will be corrected. The auditor with Eide Bailley will present to the Board during the February 1, 2023 board meeting.


  1. Board Policies: Discussion was held about focusing on updating the FMC by-laws instead of creating board policies. As it stands, there are only a handful of board policies: 1) Confidentiality for the Board of Trustees, 2) Corporation Membership Qualifications & Applications, 3) Regular Monthly Meetings – Order of Business, 4) Trustee Qualifications & Letters of Interest to Serve on the Board, and five Form-990 policies required by the IRS.  Our corporate attorney has been working on updates to the by-laws.  The board asked that the proposed revisions be discussed at the March board meeting.
  • Contract Renewals – Dr. Espeland & MiKenna O’Donnell, OT: Dr. Espeland signed the renewal contract that was offered to him by the FMC Board of Trustees. MiKenna gave a letter to the Board of Trustees asking for further discussion about her contract terms. Discussion was held about proposed revisions, Curt made a motion for changes and David K. seconded. The motion was approved. The board also discussed concerns about provider outstanding dictations and notes, and what may be considered an “acceptable” number. Given that nothing can be billed for a visit unless the documentation is complete, even one outstanding document can cause a financial hardship to FMC. However, it was generally acknowledged that providers can get behind, especially when they are working short.  The board asked that a number be determined for what may be considered a reasonable amount of outstanding documentation from the providers.  Previously, that number had been arbitrarily set at 300; they would like to reevaluate whether a lower number is more appropriate.


  1. Board Training:  A board training proposal was sent to the board by Associated Employers (AE), of which we are members. The various options were discussed amongst the board.  David K. made a motion to pursue a one-hour session on-site board training. Alice Kay seconded. The motion was approved.
  • Outsourced HR Comparison: A list of current HR services offered by two outsourcing companies – Insperity & Employer Advantage – was compared to a list of FMC employees who currently accomplish those same tasks internally. While talking to the two companies, it became clear that they are not willing to let us purchased services a la carte; it is all or nothing.  The board decided to continue providing all HR functions with internal staff.  (Enclosure)
  • Proposed Education Loan Repayment – Staff:  A draft of an Education Loan Repayment policy for staff was presented to the board. Currently, loan repayment is only offered to providers, which is done under a separate policy.  Discussion was held about the policy and possible changes or additions to it. The board decided to consider it further during budgeting, just to be sure that funding could be allocated to it.  (Enclosure)
  • Officer Elections: Per Elaine’s request, annual officer elections were moved up in the meeting to be held right after the approval of the minutes. Different options were discussed for potential Board officers. Elaine Stanhope nominated Doug to be President, Curt to be Vice President, and Evelyn to be Secretary/Treasurer.  All trustees voted in favor of these nominations.  The new officers conducted the remainder of the meeting.
  • Membership Applications: Membership applications were presented to the Board of Trustees. Upon thorough discussion and a unanimous vote, two applications were not accepted due to conflicts of interest.


The Board adjourned their regular session having completed the agenda.

s\ Doug Varner, Board Chair

s\ Marissa Skogen, Recorder