After just under two years on the job, Moab Regional Hospital CEO Robb Austin is getting ready to step down.
Austin informed the hospital’s governing board last week that he will be retiring early this year. According to a hospital press release, he will remain in place for at least 90 days to provide a “smooth, optimal transition” for the facility and its staff until a replacement is found.
Austin and his wife Betsy Baier plan to retire in Ridgway, Colorado, where they have a home.
He said the couple’s joint decision was the driving factor behind his decision to leave MRH.
“I think it was just my wife and I deciding that now is the right time to retire,” he said.
Austin worked for 40 years at four different hospitals as a material management clerk, a chief financial officer and as a CEO; he also served on the Councils for the American Hospital Association and as the 1996 chair of the Colorado Hospital Association.
He came to Moab Regional Hospital in 2013 from the Estes Park Medical Center in Colorado, where he also served as CEO.
Since that time, he said he believes that MRH’s employees as a whole have improved its operations.
“I’m not able to do anything without the input and assistance of everybody here,” he said.
The hospital has successfully recruited new physicians to the community, including an orthopedic surgeon and a family practice OB/ GYN, he said, and it is now operating at a profit.
“I think we’re operating financially as the average critical access hospital should be,” he said.
According to Austin, that’s partly because it’s doing a better job of collecting bills, and it’s sending its bills out in a timely manner. Federal Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments have also helped the facility turn its financial situation around, he said.
“We did it without dramatically increasing our charges,” he said.
As he looks back on his time with MRH, Austin said he likes to think that he’s left the place in better shape than it was when he found it.
“It’s just been a joy to work with everybody here, and it’s nice to go out on a high note,” he said.