Hospital Board plans to address employee benefits

Published 7:53 pm Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Finances continue to dominate the conversation at the board meetings of Memorial Hospital and Manor. The Tuesday, June 17 meeting was no different.

The financial report for May showed a net income of $5,342, and even though it was positive, Glennie Bench, board treasurer, said a much larger income is needed to do the necessary upgrading of hospital facilities in order to remain competitive.

Bench also expressed her continuing concern about the employee benefits costs, which rose from April’s 2014 figure of $310,724 to $507,306, an increase of $196,582.

“We have to rein in these costs and look at the whole structure,” she explained. It is a topic to be addressed at the July board retreat.

Concern was also expressed regarding the amount of the accounts payable, which is $3,250,805 for May, up $427,551 from April’s $2,823,254.

Expenses were up $384,741 from April, but fairly in line on the year-to-date figures.

Net income for the year is $42,522, down considerably from the $265,702 of last year to date. It was noted that is largely due to the indigent care trust payments made to the hospital, which are down $221,364 from last year at this time.

Six capital equipment requests approved at the June meeting are:

υ Replacement of the Endoscopy system used to look inside the body with a scope. The existing system was purchased in 2002 for $110,427. It was upgraded in 2007 for $52,747.96 and over the last eleven years the hospital has incurred repair costs of $16,759.23. The board approved an operating lease for a Fujifilm Endoscopy System at a total five-year cost of $493,128, which includes repair costs over that period. This is described as an essential piece of equipment for the hospital, and one that is profitable, as it is used for such procedures as colonoscopy and bronchoscopy procedures.

υ Three extended stay stretchers for use in Same Day Surgery. This is said to be easier and more comfortable for patients who currently must be transferred from patient beds to a stretcher, then to a table in the operating room. These stretchers make it possible for patients to be placed on the stretcher upon admission, with the possibility of never leaving it until discharge. Total cost is $9,833.88.

υ IBM storage array plus support on main server room hardware. This is described as a hardware cabinet containing many hard drives. Cost is $17,398.91.

υ MediTech immunization interface takes data from the physician practice documentation and securely forwards it to the state database. This is a requirement to meet the compliance by the July 1 deadline. Five-year cost is $6,400.

υ MediTech patient interface education material is also a required component to meet compliance by the July 1 deadline. Five-year cost is $14,400.

υ  HIPPA HITECH Gap analysis and risk assessment agreement used to meet requirements of federal auditors and qualify for incentive money. Two year cost $30,800.

Also approved was a request to contract with a consultant to help review managed care services at a cost of $3250 per month for twelve months.

The employee wellness proposal was approved to continue on a trial basis. Screenings began in April and the next phase is to offer life-style coaching, especially to 88 employees identified as being at “high risk,” and the 35 with moderate risk. Coaching cost is $29,700. The long-term expectation is to implement wellness among the employees thus reducing health care costs.

CEO Billy Walker gave his update for May.

υ All second floor patient rooms on the second floor have been repainted, and work is proceeding on ICU redecorating.

υ Quarterly employee forums will begin next week.

υ The hospital is waiting to hear back on the grant application submitted to the Georgia Partnership for Tele-health Rural School Initiative.

υ Meaningful use funds have been received for completion of Stage I, now they have received word the reports are being audited by the federal government.

υ Memorial Pediatrics has implemented extended hours.

υ Allergist Dr. Narlito Cruz, who has been seeing patients here twice a month, is relocating to the Amelia Avenue Medical Plaza.

The board voted to cancel the regular July meeting, in keeping with tradition, but will hold a day-long board retreat on July 24 at Southwind Plantation, beginning at 8 a.m.

Following a closed executive session, the board returned to open meeting and voted to approve prior executive session minutes and staff credentials.