New hospital beds in place at Share Medical Center
January 29, 2023
Share Medical Center has new hospital beds. A general surgeon has signed on and hopefully will begin doing surgeries in March. The Rural Health Clinic survey was passed with no deficiencies. These are among the reports at the Alva Hospital Authority (AHA) meeting on Jan. 24.
After approving the consent agenda, the trustees heard from Share Chief Executive Officer Kandice Allen. She said through the In Reach program, the hospital has signed on Dr. Ian Daniels, a general surgeon. “We are very excited to get him started, hopefully for the first of March,” she said. Right now they are working on getting him credentialed with all the payers. She said the hospital is also in talks with an orthopedic surgeon.
“Providers have been busy,” Allen said. “Some kind of GI bug has been going around that is kind of wicked right now.”
She reported the Rural Health Clinic finally had their survey last week. “They passed with flying colors,” Allen said. There were no deficiencies. They are waiting for CMS (Medicare and Medicaid) to recognize that designation. The benefits will be retroactive back to the date the survey was passed. It will allow Share to put them on the 340B program which will gain more revenue.
IT has been installing new software, Imprivata, on computers. “When I sit down at my computer, it’s locked,” explained Allen. “I tap my badge and get multi-factor authentication. You can’t sign on without a name badge and pin number. It helps with getting cyber security insurance.”
She said the cost is around $35 to $40 for each computer. “It’s well worth it because if also decreases your frustration with having to sign in and out multiple times.” Speaking to Dr. Scott Burk, she said his computer also had thumbprint security so he can order narcotics.
Tabitha Nutter, RN passed the national certification as a trauma certified registered nurse, reported Allen.
Chief Financial Officer Angelica Brady reported an operating cash balance for December of $21,783. She said they were starting to see improvements in cash flow after resolving Medicare issues. “About that same time we started seeing a backlog in our coding. We had an employee that as out on leave for a little while,” she said. That caused the backlog to increase and hurt cash flow. However, they’re starting to get caught up and beginning to see improvements in cash flow.
Brady said as a result the accounts receivable balance went up in December. Hospital accounts receivable balance was $4,130,867, an increase of $76,213 during the month. Unbilled gross days went up from 9.5 in November to 16.4 in December. The goal is 6 gross days.
However, billed gross days for December were at 57.1 which is getting near the 55 days goal.
Gross patient revenue totaled $871,288 in December, a decrease of $114,867 compared to the previous month. Looking at the year to date totals, Brady said gross patient revenue is $1.9 million which is about 40 percent of the year’s budget. In a comparison with pre-Covid 2019, revenue is down by approximately $1.7 million.
“We were able to determine our in patient days were down a little bit, but our swing bed days are down drastically,” she said. They are “digging deeper” to see what happened and how they might bring those patients back to their facilities.
Operating expenses are a little over budget, Brady said. She and Allen are looking at ways to improve that. Brady said compared to 2019, salaries are up to retain staff, and supply chain issues have caused price increases. Those are the two main areas of increased expenses.
Trustee Greg Bowman asked if the hospital is able to recover any revenue from bad debt write offs.
Brady said in the last few months, they’ve only recovered three to four percent on accounts sent to collection. She said historically, that figure would be 17 percent. However they haven’t been regularly sending accounts to collection while they’ve been getting billing under control.
Allen said the new program being implemented will allow the hospital to help patients make payment arrangements for any bills over $400 when they come in or when they schedule a procedure. “We are no longer acting as the bank and financing that with individuals,” she said.
There is a cost to the hospital. If a patient goes that route, the financing company gets 30 percent of the bill. However, the hospital will get the remainder within a week. “If a patient defaults, we still get to keep our money,” she said.
Beds for Sale
New hospital beds, purchased mainly through donations, have been delivered and installed in patient rooms. Brady said the hospital is offering the used beds for sale. “If you know someone who needs a hospital bed, send them our way,” she said.
Allen said they have contacted nursing homes in the area to let them know the beds are available.
Meditech and Forvis
Brady said specialists from Meditech have been on site three to five days a week to work with the hospital’s team to prepare for implementing the software for patient records. “We continue to get high praise for our team (from Forvis),” said Brady. “They are doing a great job.”
The trustees then discussed a proposed agreement with Forvis to help with implementation of Meditech. Brady said Forvis has worked with the hospital to get their accounts receivable on track. This agreement would help the hospital “preserve the revenue cycle that we’ve implemented and the changes that we’ve made.”
AHA Chair Jason Gaisford said, “Eleven or 12 years ago when we set up Meditech originally, we had nothing like this. So we got this huge computer software program but we did not have anybody to make sure that we were setting it up correctly.” He said this is what Forvis would do.
Gaisford said many pieces of the program were never used before because they didn’t know how to set them up, but they were still paying for them. Forvis would help them make sure they know how to use it and are using it to its full capabilities.
Brady said one of the members of the Forvis team previously worked for Meditech and has been “very insightful” as the hospital has gone through the first part of the review before implementation.
“Another thing,” said Gaisford, “Years ago when we did that changeover, we ended up having monies go into black holes – charges that were going into black holes because we didn’t know how all that thing worked. You couldn’t see them. That ends up just becoming lost revenue.
“Personally, just because of what we went through, this (agreement) will be money very well spent. Because I promise you the first time, we lost way more than what we’ll be paying them.”
Trustee Halah Simon asked how long the agreement with Forvis would last.
Brady said it was for 300 to 400 hours which they assume will be cover the next four months to take the hospital through the Meditech implementation.
Dr. Ken Brown made a motion to approve the engagement with Forvis LLP for Phase II of Meditech Expanse not to exceed $150,000 plus administrative fees. Jay Randals seconded, and the motion was unanimously approved.
Trustees voted to approve the reappointment of Marisa Endersby, CRNA to allied staff.
A video of the meeting may be viewed at http://www.AlvaReviewCourier.com.