Hospital CEO Jim Lambert details plan for recovery

Published 5:23 pm Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Hospital CEO Jim Lambert presented an update on some of the plans and achievements of the hospital over the last year. Some of the topics are:

Plans for the Wound Healing Center have been approved and it is expected to open some time by the end of the year.

The 340B Pharmacy program that is available to rural hospitals has been completed. It will help subsidize pharmacy costs.

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He presented what he called a Corporate Scorecard for Fiscal Year 2019, comparing where things stand now with the strategic plan that has been developed to give direction for the next three to five years.

Focusing this year on Finance, he spoke briefly on the help received from the Georgia Heart Program and grants received. He spoke of the rising cost of health insurance for the employees, which is about $800,000 above last year.

Under quality he spoke of tracking sugar levels for patients with hypoglycemia, and an effort to reduce the use of psychotropic medications in the Manor.

They plan to increase the number of annual wellness clinics for Medicare patients, thus taking a proactive approach to medical care.

Under the People category he said they are trying to improve the turnover rate and reduce the number of open positions. Reason cited that when other employees have to pick up the slack it puts additional stress on the staff.

Under Service, he spoke of the rating patients give based on the satisfaction of their care. For inpatient 64% of the people gave a rating of 9 or 10; while in out-patient and clinics they are measuring the satisfaction of wait times

In the Emergency Department, the survey asked patients if they would recommend the service to others, and 52 percent said they would. Then an additional question asked if were you satisfied with the care. 88 percent said they were satisfied with care at the 9 or 10 level.

Under growth, he cited that surveys showed about 20 percent of Donalsonville inpatients come from Decatur County, while 18 percent of their obstetrical patients come from Decatur County. “We area trying to reverse that trend,” he said and recapture those patients.

There are also plans to increase the outpatient surgeries, working on laboratory outreach and increasing the census at the Manor. “We are monitoring these month by month,” he said.

Lauren Harrell, recently hired by the hospital to oversee development, with emphasis on the Georgia Heart program, spoke briefly on the program. It began in 2017, allowing Georgia taxpayers to receive a state income tax credit up to 70 percent for donations to qualifying rural hospitals. House Bill 769 passed May 2, 2018, expanded the percent to 100 percent. She said Memorial Hospital and Manor received $284,050 in that year, while $871,156 has been received in 2018.

She is currently engaged in seeking out pre-applications from C Corporations and Trusts, along with individuals, so that when the new application process opens October 1, she can submit them all.

Statewide, qualified rural hospitals can access up to $4 million of tax credits until the total annual $60 million cap is met.

Last year, donations had to be paid by 60 days, and there were dollars we missed out on last year because they missed the deadline. Harrell has already captured some of those missing dollars from last year.

Her goal is to make all those who pay Georgia income tax aware of the program and how they can help the struggling hospital.

If you pay Georgia income taxes, you are now eligible to receive a 100% tax credit for contributing to Memorial Hospital and Manor through the Georgia Heart Program

Individual Filer- 100% of amount contributed, up to $5,00

Married Filing Jointly – 100% of amount contributed, up to $10,000

C Corporation or trust shall be allowed a 100% Georgia income tax credit contribution equal to the amount of the contribution, or 75% if the corporation or trusts income tax liability.

KNOW where your tax dollars are being spent! WHY send your money to Atlanta and not really know?  “Keep your Georgia tax dollars local”

MHM’s needs:

 Security and IT system upgrades

 Facility improvements

 Increased home health services

 Reduction of debt

 New imaging and telemedicine equipment

Important deadline – October 1 PRE-applications open

This date is important because these funds are “first come- first served”.  We are competing for these funds with 57 other rural hospitals in Georgia.  There is a cap for each hospital of 4 million dollars, and a state cap of 60 million dollars.  We want to reach our full potential of funds to better serve our patients.

Make a “HEART” appointment with Lauren Harrell for information and  fill out a pre application before October 1.