‘Cutting edge of a new paradigm’ at PMH
The Pocahontas Memorial Hospital board of directors took a break from financial worries and focused on improving services at its meeting on Thursday night.
CFO Chad Carpenter reported that revenue for the month of January was the highest recorded since he has been reporting the numbers. With revenue up and expenses down, the facility showed a profit of $468,991 for the month.
Carpenter said out-patient services accounted for part of the increase in revenue, as January is a busy month at Snowshoe, making it equally as busy at PMH.
Out-patient visits hit an all time high for the month at 673. Emergency room visits followed suit with a record 445. Daily in-patient charges topped the chart, as well, adding to the black of the bottom line.
The PMH Ambulance was busy and did its part by having its most profitable month. A profit for that service in the amount of $11,509 brought the year-to-date total to $23,749.
The numbers for the Rural Health Clinic did not fare so well, due to a reduced number of providers working during the month. That situation will be remedied within the month of March when a new provider comes on board.
A review of the business of doing business at PMH was conducted by Revenue Cycles Solution and an in-depth report outlines how the facility can improve in the areas of billing, collecting and reporting the outcome of all things financial.
“We are on the cutting edge of a new paradigm,” board president Dr. Bob Must said.
CEO Barbara Lay told the board that the report generated by RCS was the longest the group had ever produced.
“With the most recent completion of the RCS report, we can get our arms around things,” board member Cathy Mosesso said.
But getting arms around it will take a lot of man-hours, and administration will search for a project manager who will work to implement the recommendations.
PMH received a report with regard to an inspection by OFLAC [Office of Health Facility Licensure and Certification]. “No deficiencies” were found within the facility.
The radiology department recently underwent an inspection on-site and at its service operation site at Pocahontas Center. It, too, passed with no deficiencies.
COO Terry Wagner told the board that AmeriCorps VISTA Claiar Groth will take on the task of implementing the Patient Centered Medical Home program. A program geared toward improving services to PMH’s patients – in-house and at home.
The staff is always “tweaking” ways to improve services, but the facility is still struggling in the area of collecting for some of them.
The board was asked to write-off $102,107 to bad debt as non-collectible.
To-date, $2.1 million in overdue accounts has been sent to the collection agency of Martin and Seibert. But to-date, little has been collected.
Carpenter reported that there has been some improvement in exonerations. The board approved 45 applications totally nearly $86,000.
“Exonerations help the bottom line,” Carpenter said. “The hospital will receive a portion of the payment from the cost report because people [patients] took time to do the necessary paperwork.”
Lay told the board that there are concerns at this point about the federal budget and how the sequester – going into effect on Friday – would affect Medicare payments.
CMO Dr. Frank Puckett reported that PMH was providing its own staff coverage for the emergency department, and had not used physicians from ERX in the last month. This helped to reduce costs, as well.
Kerry Cooper is now the pharmacist for PMH, and Puckett said that, too, has brought about a significant change in efficiency and the bottom line.
As PMH works toward even more improvements, a Strategic Planning Committee has been established consisting of board members Must and David Fleming.
“All the bottom line numbers look very good,” Must said. “It’s all very exciting.
The board will meet again on Tuesday, March 26, at 6 p.m. in the hospital conference room.
Jaynell Graham may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org