Memorial Hospital and Manor continues efforts to improve finances

Published 4:34 pm Friday, May 22, 2015

Hosp EmpofMo

Hardin Memorial Hospital Employee of the month, Joanne Palmer, is shown with Authority Chair, Glennie Bench, left and CEO Billy Walker. Palmer has worked at HMH since 2005 and is described as always smiling and welcoming to people she meets in the hallways, and helpful to persons needing assistance.

An improved financial report for the month of April was presented at the May meeting of the Memorial Hospital and Manor Authority. The hospital reported a net income for the month of April as $149,983, with total expenses of $3,583,754, down from March’s $4,303,495. Accounts payable were also down significantly. The figure for April was $2,780,740 as opposed to $3,530,476 in March.

Several expense items described by CFO Bill Huling as being aimed at efforts to increase service volume and improve reimbursements were approved by the Authority.

• A lease to purchase Echo service upgrade to accommodate an expected increase in procedures from Cardiologist Dr. Bill Ellis and partners. Currently the hospital is doing 600 echos annually. It is predicted that procedures will be doubled within 12 months. MHM will lease an Affinity ultrasound machine for five years, with additional Ultrasound connectivity needed to interface into the PACS report template used at Archbold Clinic will allow cardiologists to read ECHO tests and EKG’s and feed data back into MediTech used at MHM. Total cost of this upgrade is $43,940. Projected reimbursement from this investment is $150,000, with anticipated net income from increased procedures of $39,460.

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• Contracting with TruBridge Consulting Services to improve documentation process by assisting better coding procedures said to maximize reimbursements. Over a five-week process, consultant will review charts and identify gaps. Cost not to exceed $44,000. This should also help with the upcoming implementation of ICD10 coding required to go into effect in October, when over 100 thousand codes will come into use. This will be reviewed after the first phase to see if results are satisfactory. If not, the rest of the contract can be cancelled.

• Hiring of an interim revenue cycle director to manage MediTech optimization and assist Huling on such matters as cost reduction, office improvement, financial analysis and complete ICD10 readiness. This would be a six-month commitment at $70 per hour offsite and $85 per hour on site, for a total of $100,000 to $125,000. This position was included in the annual budget.

• Purchase and installation of software program, plus training, to document “medical necessity” at a cost of $14,594.
One capital equipment purchase was approved for a replacement server for the Central Voice digital dictation system. It carries hardware that allows care providers to dictate patient notes, etc. by dialing dedicated phone numbers and the speech is converted to digital files and stored on the server’s hard drive. Transcriptionists can dial in to the server and listen to the dictation while typing it into the MediTech system. Total cost is $16,481.75, which includes $1,263.75 in annual service and maintenance fees.
CEO Billy Walker gave a monthly update.

• A few repairs are being made to the building on Wheat Ave. where the federally qualified health clinic will open in August.

• The Foundation Derby Party was successful, netting approximately $25,000 to 26,000.

• The annual employee awards program was held on the front lawn last week, where employees and physicians were recognized for their years of service. A new award, Physician of the Year, went to Dr. Cochran.

• Dr. Gordon Miller will be retiring in June and a retirement luncheon is planned for him on June 12.

• The hospital is submitting an application for additional grant money to fund two more schools with Telemedicine capability.

Following an executive session, the board returned to open meeting and voted to accept credentials for physicians due in May.

They also approved a decision to spend $50,000 over the next two years to continue support and participation in STRATUS, an initiative of hospitals of central and southwestern Georgia targeting improvements in clinical integration.