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Head of the Class

Hospital Board Discusses Many Issues in Wednesday’s Meeting

August 23rd, 2012 by

The Drew Memorial Hospital called to order their monthly board meeting Aug. 22 to discuss their financial report, old business and new business.

Shannon Clark, the chief financial officer, presented the board with July’s 2012 Financial Report, which covered July 2008 until July 2012. The report highlighted the operating revenue and operating expenses, which rose a little over ten million and 7 million, respectively, over the past five years. This gives the hospital a $2.8 million increase over the past year, in comparison with 2008 where the hospital earned a loss of 311,000 in 2008.

Clark said, “Over the past five years our revenue has consistently gone upward.” She said also the expenses climbed up as expected although staffing causes the majority of the rise.

To explain the large increase in gains for 2012, Clark said the hospital did get $1.7 million for putting in electronic medical records, which all hospitals are eligible for.

The hospital’s bad debt rose as well in 2012 to a little over $4.7 million. Bad debt includes people who possess the ability to pay their debt but choose not to. Clark said the hospital increased their gross charges since 2008 because, since then, they did not charge enough to be reimbursed by organizations such as Blue Cross Blue Shield.

The board will consider the cash increase and the cash on-hand for use in updating operating rooms and other areas of the hospital.

Home Health Department Director Misty Rogers explained to the board the Home Health Report. The hospital served a little more than 70 home health orders, which involve patients that receive care at their homes by nurses that tend to a multitude of tasks.

Overall the Drew Memorial Home Health scores increased from the first to the second quarter with an overall rating of 90.91 compared to the state average of 87.05. Other scores also increased which include: willingness to recommend up 3.1 points to 93.1 and care of patients up .53 points to 93.53.

Rogers said, “Medicare sends the evaluations out to patients’ homes with a return envelope that patients use to return them.” Home Health never actually sees these evaluations until the statistics are given out.

Attorney Cliff Gibson explained the malpractice insurance possibilities the hospital could utilize when they complete the conversion from a county organization to a non-profit organization.

Gibson said, “I recommend at least $10 million per claim, but wouldn’t have a problem with $15 million a claim,” considering Pro-Assurance insurance rates are inexpensive for big coverage options.

Gibson said a big policy wouldn’t cause the hospital to become a target for claims, and the hospital would protect their assets. The board passed to obtain a $15 million per claim policy by Oct. 1, which will cost an estimated $45,000.

In regards to old business, Chief Executive Officer Mike Layfield said construction will begin Aug. 24 on replacing floors in 38 rooms and will end in 6 weeks. Also prices for the lobby will be presented along with other construction plans that are undecided around middle of October.

In regards to the lobby, Layfield said, “We want cost efficiency but enough room for patient flow.” He said he will present multiple options to the board to decide on.

Layfield also mention the DMH Millage Extension of 1.8 mills, which will take advantage of the low interest rates to refinance and extend their current millage. This millage is not a new tax, but an extension that will produce approximately $3 million to help fund the surgery center. The 1.8 millage decision will take place Oct. 9

In new business, Emergency Room Manager Linda Orrell gave the CNO Report. This report highlighted the fluent staff and some recruiting plans. Orrell plans to recruit from the University of Arkansas-Monticello’s RN program, where she said they picked up great employees from last year.

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