Hospital board meeting was costly

Published 7:36 pm Friday, November 22, 2013

The November meeting of the Memorial Hospital and Manor Authority proved to be an expensive one, as the board approved total capital equipment expenditures in the amount of $486,733.94 for various software programs.
Following a closed executive meeting, the board came back into open session and voted to purchase the Bainbridge office property owned by Dr. Charles Walker at a cost of $220,000, with a $34,000 down payment and the balance of $186,000 owner financed at 3.25 percent over ten years. Walker was excused from the meeting during the discussion and when the voting took place. Approval was also given to authorize CEO Billy Walker to represent the hospital at the time of the real estate closing.
Software programs approved were:
• A Dragon software system that allows the provider to speak into a microphone that recognizes spoken words and converts them into text. This frees the provider from having to type the patient data into the electronic health records files, thus freeing up time for seeing more patients. Five-year cost is $210,862.70.
• A web-based electronic health record program for use in long term care. This will be used in the manor to help with certified nursing assistant documentation as required, aimed at helping with reimbursements.  Five-year cost $134,481.24.
• An IMO mapping software subscription that offers a clinical terminology software suite designed to match billable patient care activities to the mandated numerical claim codes. The number of codes attached to functions of providers is set to expand in late 2014 from the current 70,000 to 370,000 different codes. This software is needed to comply with the meaningful use mandate that these codes be mapped to all documentation created. Five year cost $69,000.
• An Ingenious Med software that provides data to help hospitals and physicians increase billing accuracy. The vendor predicts that net collections will increase some 2.2 percent as charges are more accurately billed. Five year cost $72,390.
An additional one-time expenditure of $9,470.08 was approved to purchase 24 IBM memory modules, to be used to increase memory capacity of servers used to meet the meaningful use.
The financial report for the month of October reflected a net income of $66,602, down $3,341 from that of September.  Current year-to-date net income is $402,572, opposed to that of last year’s $696,415.
It was pointed out that October had one more day in it and that the cost for salaries runs approximately $63,000 per day. Ten new positions have been added to the staff since Sept.
The board also approved a three-year agreement with a company to do a baseline assessment of the proper documentation being done on outpatient visits. Coding consultant training would be provided at a cost of $1000 per month, which would be refunded if they find no more than $12,000 in additional revenue.
CEO Billy Walker announced the position of Director of Development has been posted by the Hospital Foundation.
The person chosen would be listed as a hospital employee in order to obtain benefits. This new position was approved by the board.
The board voted to cancel the December board meeting, as has been the tradition.
They also voted to approve the distribution of 710 Christmas turkeys to all employees, volunteers, medical staff at a cost of $10,675.95.
Christmas bonuses will also be paid to all full-time employees with a minimum of one year of service. The amount is based on years of service, at $20 per year. This amounts to 396 persons for a total of $86,240. CEO Walker reported on the upcoming health fairs; the medical staff party scheduled for Dec. 5 at Southwind Plantation; that electronic records have tested out for Stage I of implementation and reimbursement is expected to be received by mid-December.
The quarterly leadership training for employees will be held half-days Dec. 6 through 11 at the Holiday Inn.
The hospital employees are working on a float to enter the city’s Christmas parade.
The department manager’s Christmas party will be held Dec. 14.
Reservations have been made for all board members to attend the GHA annual trustee meeting  Jan. 10-12 at Reynolds Plantation-Ritz-Carlton.
Those not able to attend should cancel by Dec. 15.

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