Hospital Authority reports disappointing August

Published 2:11 pm Friday, September 20, 2019

August was another month of disappointing financial information for Memorial Hospital and Manor. After reviewing several of the categories in detail, CEO Jim Lambert said, “Not a good month or a good start to the year.”  Thus began the September hospital authority meeting on Tuesday.

However, in spite of the down side, Lambert remained positive, saying he hoped to see a $2 million dollar increase from current plans in place. In his report he cited “gross revenue as being up in August and thus far in September the census has been up in the hospital and volumes appear to be up in the practices.” He noted a significant increase in the collection rate since Xtend has taken over the outsourced billing/collecting processes. “While we are still working through some issues, I feel we are on the right path,” he exclaimed.

Lambert also praised the work of Lauren Harrell for a significant increase in contributions to the Rural Hospital Tax Credit program, (Georgia Heart Fund) made to the hospital over those of last year.

Other outsourcing evaluations concerning the departments of housekeeping and dining services are being considered, and Lambert told the board that if it is determined to be cost efficient, those services could also be outsourced. 

An additional outsourcing being considered is the Director of Pharmacy position as a result of Ellen King’s retirement.  A contract in that department would only involve the director position and a management fee. All other employees in pharmacy would remain employees of the hospital. He cited the hospital has a lacking in expertise in the areas of 340b management, understanding the requirements for hazardous drug handling as outlined in USP 795 and 800 regulations, as well as how to be more efficient while maintaining or increasing quality.

Lambert also updated the authority members on the status of new programs in place, saying the New Vision Medical Detox program continues to be in transition. In August they saw three admissions and so far in September there have been two. He noted that if those numbers do not improve over the next couple of months the program could be in jeopardy.

The Wound Clinic is off to a good start. In August 28 new patients with 95 visits were seen. Dr. Walker and Dr. Myers have been overseeing the clinic, with the volume definitely pushing them to keep up with it along with their surgical practices. A part-time physician is being sought for the clinic.

The new MRI system will be installed between September 20 and 30 during which time the hospital will not be able to offer MRI services.

Lambert indicated he was excited about the new Emergency Department provider that becomes effective October 1. The new contract is with SouthlandMD a company that provides coverage to many medium and small hospitals in the state. They will also be providing the Hospitalists used at Memorial Hospital. He is expecting a cost reduction as well as improved care and service as a result of the change.

Lee Harris, administrative assistant, reported a balance of $389,816 remains in the bond funds account used to meet capital improvement expenses.

Following a closed session to discuss quality, strategic and personnel issues, the Authority returned to approve credentialing of new and existing physicians and of  minutes from the last executive meeting.