MCHHS nets $214,000 in savings

BELOIT - Saying they caught the bottom of the market at the most opportune of times, Mitchell County Hospital Health Systems board chairman Curt Frasier said a bond refinancing netted the hospital $214,000 in savings.

The news was announced at the monthly board meeting Monday night. The board unanimously approved two resolutions related to the refinancing, and the bonds will be effective beginning Aug 1.

The board had previously agreed to refinance bonds with the hope of netting at least $190,000 in savings. As Frazier noted, they took action at the right time.

Paula Jones was at the meeting to give her quarterly update on the county hospice. She said the hospice currently has six patients in its care.

They have had 32 admissions since Jan. 1, compared to 37 at this time in 2015 and 26 in 2014. Jones said they have seen comparably short stays, less then seven days, and attributed the fact to a variety of reasons.

Scores for pain satisfaction surveys have been positive, Jones said. On average, the hospice has received a 4.7 out of 5 on the pain management satisfaction scale.

Frasier asked what Jones would like to focus on over the next year. Jones said she would like to see a bereavement program brought back into the community, and is going to try to set up a hospice-ran program.

The Studer patient satisfaction survey results were covered with the board by Darren True. MCHHS met its organizational goal of finishing in the 75 percentile in at least four or more survey categories for the months of April, May and June. Highlights for the month of June included finishing in the 99 percentile for doctor communication and cleanliness of hospital environment.

CEO Jeremy Armstrong discussed the recent state survey the Resident Care Center recently went through.

Armstrong said the surveys were on the whole very complimentary, and highlighted the fact that no deficiencies were found in dietary. Seven deficiencies in total were found on the unit itself, though he pointed out that four of those essentially involved the same minor infraction related to one patient.

The CEO finished by discussing a recent presentation he attended about changes in health care payment models.

The industry, Armstrong said, has largely shifted from the fee for service model that has long been a staple of health care, to the adjusted fee for service model MCHHS currently uses. But as Armstrong said, MCHHS is now getting pushed into alternative payment methods (APMs), which includes bundle payments and total cost shared risk.

CFO Eldon Koepke followed Armstrong with his monthly financial summary.

There were 62 admissions in June, down from 72 in both May and April. There were six births in June. The average acute length of stay was 4.16 days. The average patients per day from the nursing home was 36.50.

The board held a lengthy discussion centered around whether or not to switch to an electric portal for board meetings. The electric portal would eliminate the need for paper information packets to be mailed out to board members and the media the week before the meeting.

While no decision was made, if they were to switch to an electronic portal, the two options presented to them were Board Effects and Director Point. Board Effects would be the more expensive option to go with.

Frasier said he thinks Board Effects makes more sense for the board, and Armstrong pointed out that the program meets Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) security requirements. The issue will be brought back at next month’s meeting.

The board agreed to extend a recruitment package for incoming physicians Dr. Mark Banker and Dr. Mariah Crumbaker by $18,000 for

signing bonuses to help them pay a student loan bill due at the end of the month. The physicians will join MCHHS this fall.

MCHHS will join the Kansas Heart & Stroke Collaborative after the board agreed to the decision Monday. The collaborative focuses on wellness from a treatment and recovery standpoint.

Best practices are shared amongst hospitals in the group, and a transition manager will be set up for discharged patients. There is no financial risk or commitment for MCHHS.

The board agreed to purchase a new blood gas analyzer.

Service awards were given to Rita Rowlison for 35 years in Dietary and Jason Carr for 10 years in Plant Operations.

The board will next meet at 5:15 p.m., Monday, Aug. 22. 

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