According to Battle Mountain General Hospital’s Chief Executive Officer Jason Bleak, the Kingston Clinic is not necessarily closing. 

“We don’t know if it’s closing, at this point,” said Bleak. “We are in the exploration mode. What brought this on, and we’ve been working on it for three or four months now, is that financially – since the day of inception – it’s really been a drain on public funds from the hospital.”

Bleak stated the hospital has seen six-digit losses, somewhere between $110,000 and $150,000 each year in the one clinic in Kingston.

Bleak said he and the hospital board feel they need to figure out how to take better care of their public funds, so they have set out to find a way to do that, and to also keep the clinic in Kingston open.

“I have been down to the Kingston Town Board a couple of times, and I’ve had conversations with Ann Miles. There are a few different options. One option we are looking at right now is called a Federally Qualified Health Center. Nevada Health Center – actually functioning in Austin right now – they run one, and they have many clinics statewide. We presented them with the opportunity, and I have another meeting with them soon,” said Bleak. 

Bleak said he also presented the opportunity to the Kingston Board to see if they wanted to create their own Federally Qualified Health Center, but they have turned away from that idea, as they do not feel they have the expertise, knowledge or ability required.

Bleak said he and the hospital board continue to pursue ideas, including looking into tele-health clinics. 

“If we were to cut — and this would be a drastic cut – expenses down, how far would we have to cut them in order to break even or even come close to breaking even?” remarked Bleak, who added he didn’t know how they could manage that, as they have already lost so much. “It’s a small organization and they see so few patients; I don’t know if we can cut it.”

Moving forward, Bleak stated, “We are exploring all the options now, and the board wants to make a decision before the end of this calendar year. Because then it would give us at least six months to transition into whatever new scenario we have. I really hope we can find a solution. It would be really great to keep the clinic open and available to the people down in the southern portion of the county.”