Ainslie to replace Warren on MMH board as BOC liaison
By Stephanie Johns
The Morgan County Hospital Authority began its October meeting by recognizing Morgan County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Ellen Warren for her many years of service.
“She’s a true inspiration,” said Terry Evans, Chairman of the authority. “We’ve got a great board, a terrific staff, and a wonderful replacement for Ellen in Andy.”
Commissioner Andy Ainslie will replace Warren as county liaison to the authority.
Warren told those present that she concurred with Evans and his assessment.
Lab manager Roger Moon began with the hospital about two months ago. He shared some of his background and gave a report on the lab.
As to lab equipment, they now have a chemistry analyzer and an immuno analyzer as well as fairly new hematology and coagulation equipment.
CEO Ralph Castillo said they spent $191,000 for the chemical analyzer and noted that it “vastly improves the lab” both in turnaround time and in quality.
The lab recently has been accredited by the Joint Laboratory Commission, a national accrediting agency that accredits 17,000 labs in the U.S., according to Moon.
Treasurer Paul Courchaine began the financial report by noting that September numbers are “not good” and that revenue is “significantly” down. He added that the numbers for October are “more positive.”
He also shared a potential future threat whereby larger medical facilities like Emory and Piedmont are buying out doctors’ offices and having those doctors referring patients to their facilities.
CFO Courtney Moore then led those present through the full financial report for September.
She explained that their budget is based off of the FY 2012 average. The average daily census – the average number of patients in the hospital each day – based on the FY 2012 average was 24. This September had 15, which Moore described as “a tough number.”
She agreed with Courchaine’s prediction that next month should be better. Moore noted that surveys are held on Mondays but September has a Monday holiday so it really only has three Mondays worth of surveys.
“It’s not that we overspent,” she said. “It’s strictly revenue.”
They brought in $445,300 less than they had budgeted for but part of this – $200,383 – was overcome with deductions, she said.
Regarding salaries and wages, she added that they are doing “very well” with flexing and utilizing the PRN pool so overtime is down.
Employee benefits are slightly over budget at $10,000 but “much more in line” than previous months, according to Moore.
As to professional fees, these, too, are over budget by $20,000 but it is auditing season so they have audit fees. They plan to have an audit presentation at the December meeting.
She said they have created an interdisciplinary task force to investigate system process and flow. Clinical and financial employees work together to make sure they understand how the hospital flows.
As to their Disproportionate State Hospital (DSH) Survey that deals with the hospital’s uninsured patients, their limit was $891,000 last year and is $1.14 million this year, indicating that they have more uninsured patients coming through their doors.
Evans said that state funds continue to dwindle and that senators are not looking to increase them.
“Next year could be even worse,” he said. “We’re going to lose a lot of money there.”
Moore agreed that the fund is “a big deal.”
“We have to take 97 percent of those charges off the books,” she said.
Courchaine urged people to shop local when it comes to choosing a hospital.
For his report on physician recruiting, Dr. Dan Zant said they are looking at the number of patients who transfer out of the hospital and said they need to think about what services they might offer to them.
Beth O’Neill gave the nursing report. She said they have filled two full-time nursing positions and two PRN positions.
“Our goal is no scheduled overtime,” she said.
She added that they have purchased refurbished crash carts for the emergency room so as to standardize the location of items and thereby improve their efficiency.
Printed in the November 1 2012 edition.