Hospital Board handles business at August meeting

Published 4:23 pm Friday, August 21, 2015

Financial indicators for the months of June and July were reviewed at the August meeting of Memorial Hospital and Manor Authority Tuesday, since there was no regularly scheduled July meeting.

June showed a net income of $22,143, while July reported a loss of $461,042. While admitting these figures are disappointing, CFO Bill Huling and board treasurer Charles Tyson indicate personnel and procedure changes in the business office will result in meeting the net revenue budgeted by the end of the fiscal year, March of 2016.

They continue to outsource collection of accounts and billing many of those that have been written off in the past.

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On a positive note, costs for employee benefits, health and dental costs were down.

As part of the financial report, the board approved contracting with a vendor to review current coding procedures in physician offices prior to billing. An employee position that had been open remains unable to be filled. This is necessary to meet the October 1 deadline of transitioning to ICD 10 version, which involves multiple additional codes.

Also approved was a proposal from accountants, Draffin and Tucker, to do strategy reports for Community Health Needs Assessments at a cost of $12,500.

Two capital equipment requests were approved:

• A Blickman two chamber warming cabinet that maintains specific temperatures of both blankets and fluids used for patients in the surgery department. Cost $5,622.68.
• A GE Healthcare Optima CT540 system for a total five-year cost of $599,411. This item, included in the FY2016 Budget, replaces the hospital’s present scanner, which is 14 years old. Beginning in 2016, Medicare will pay less for certain diagnostic CT scans performed on CT equipment that does not meet the new standards required for safer imaging experiences for patients. If updates were not made it would mean an estimated $256,346 reduction in reimbursements over the next five years.
Also approved were:
• Addition of mid-level hospitalist coverage for Sundays through Thursdays until 10 p.m. at a net increase of $3,000 per month.
• A change in the VALIC (Variable Annuity Life Insurance Corp.) administration contract, transferring the handling of employee loans from the Hospital’s Human Resources Department to VALIC, at no additional cost.
• The Memorandum of Understanding arrived at with Decatur County Commission, detailing and clarifying the payment of indigent care reimbursements.
• Appointment of Marvalyn Carroll as new board secretary, and naming of new internal committee members.
CEO Walker included in his monthly update:
1) Announced a new physician, Ryan D. Curran, M.D. began seeing patients at Amelia Medical Plaza on Monday. A welcoming reception is planned for the future.
2) Surveyors spent two days last week reviewing procedures, and except for a few documentary issues found, it went well.
3) Walker, Cynthia Vickers and Dr. Dean Burke will attend the three-day annual Rural Hospital Association meeting at St. Simons.
4) The hospital will make it mandatory for all employees to receive flu shots this year. If, for some reason the shots are not taken, the employee will be required to wear a mask.

Following a brief closed session, the board returned to open meeting and voted to approve the minutes from prior executive meeting, and August credentials for the following:

Appointments: Jeremy Latimer, MD/Internal Medicine, Luke Williams, MD/Internal Medicine, Christopher Daniels, MD/Cardiology, B.Clay Sizemore, MD/Cardiology; Reappointments: Mary Beth Smith, MD/Pediatrics, Aaron Guyer, MD/Orthopedics; Additional Privileges: William Ellis, MD., Robert Miles Jr., MD, Philip Troyer, MD and James Karas, MD, all in Cardiology.