On Tuesday, Feb.24, the regular monthly hospital board meeting began with the board welcoming Dr.
The Financial Report for the month showed that in total, hospital operations were in the black with a net income of $21,790. Nursing Home, Home Health Care, and Emergency Medical Services operated in the black and losses by Employed Physicians were significantly smaller than expected.
Hospital revenues were significantly impacted by a dramatic increase in claims by hospital employees. The hospital insurance program is “partially self-insured” in that the hospital provides certain services to employees at no charge. Medical services that are required by employees (and not available locally) are provided elsewhere and those claims were up as well in January.
Board members also quickly zeroed in on a steadily increasing figure in the accounts receivables column in the financial report. This figure does not meet industry standards or the hospital goals and board members and staff spent considerable time discussing the problem and possible solutions. While some corrective measures have already been implemented in the billing and claims department, the board requested that Mercy Health Systems provide technical assistance in this area.
Mercy representatives promised concrete proposals by the March Board meeting.
The Hospital Board approved the financial report and also approved a recommendation that Hospital employees be allowed to continue using Blue Cross / Blue Shield for medical coverage (that is not provided by the hospital itself.) Last year, the hospital’s health insurance policy covered 358 employees and 183 dependents. Six insurance carriers provided proposals for evaluation. The board also granted Dan Colón, the hospital administrator, authority to negotiate and sign the next year’s contract for professional and general liability insurance for the hospital.
In other business, the hospital board approved a recommendation to refinance the note for the medical office building. This loan will be combined with the school loans (taken out by the Claiborne County Board of Education) and the county’s loans for construction of the
Board members and medical staff also spent significant time discussing the management contract with Mercy Health Systems. The revised contract mirrors the old contract with the exception that the hospital board can terminate the contract with cause with a 45 day notice and terminate the contract without fault with a 90 day notice. Perhaps the most interesting part of this discussion was the expertise and eloquence demonstrated by Dr. Clark as he participated in the discussion.
All parties agreed that the best thing that medical and administrative staff can do for county taxpayers and hospital customers was to make every effort to maintain a successful hospital. A successful hospital provides quality care to the community while maintaining its financial viability. The new management contract was approved unanimously with a roll call vote. The management contract must still be approved by the county commission.
The final order of business included an update that Mercy Health and the
Hospital board votes for contract with Mercy
TAZEWELL—In a unanimous vote the Claiborne County Hospital Board decided to accept a management contract with Mercy. Mercy representative Jack Bryant brought the board a proposal from Mercy which each member reviewed prior to the meeting.
After some discussion and a minor change that both parties agreed to council member Betsy Shoffner made a motion to accept the agreement. The council conceded and the motion will now go to the County Commission for final approval.
In other business, the board discussed the hospitals employee health insurance policy. According to Director of Human Resources, Susan Hunley, the employee health insurance contract expires on April 1, 2009. She brought some proposals from other insurance carriers to the board for review.
After discussing the different plans and asking what plan the employees were interested in the board made a decision and approved negotiation for a new contract.
Dr. Richard Clark reported that the medical staff had elected new officers and made some amendments to their bylaws. He presented the changes to the board for approval, which was granted.
During the hospital administrator’s report Jessica Justice discussed the hospitals finances saying, the combined Net Income for the Claiborne County Hospital and Nursing Home in the month of January was $21,790 compared to a budgeted $56,907.
Justice added that there had been a drastic increase in the amount of health insurance claims which caused a substantial increase in insurance expenses for the month.
After some other brief discussion the meeting was adjourned.