The good news from the Coffey Health System Board of Trustees meeting is that financial numbers continue to trend in the right direction. Even better news for CHS employees is that there will be no reduction in discretionary leave (D.L.) accrual as was previously discussed.
Based upon the positive financial trend, Chief Executive Officer Leonard Hernandez recommended that D.L. accrual remain at the current rate. He encouraged the board to consider the importance of maintaining an attractive benefits package for retaining and recruiting staff.
“I spent a lot of time talking to employees about D.L., low census time, and utilization,” Hernandez said. “My recommendation is that we not change the accrual pattern for D.L., that we keep it at the current rate. I just think that is the right thing to do at this point. I truly believe that we can make up that (financial) difference—and will—by reviewing our consulting contracts and doing away with some of those things that we don’t need to be paying for.”
All nine trustees were present at the meeting: Chairman Steve Hopkins, Vice Chairman Peter Allegre, Treasurer Craig Stukey, Secretary Rosemary Rich, Judy Reese, Cameron Roth, Levi Saueressig, Tim Smith, and Dennis Young.
Stukey introduced Interim Chief Financial Officer Ken Cox, who was sent by American Consulting to fill the unexpired contract of former interim CFO Cheryl Batchelor. Batchelor had to leave the interim post for personal reasons. Her last day was Friday, Nov. 13.
Cox reported that total hospital revenue for October was $2.3 million, resulting in a $1.2 million increase over year-to-date 2014. Factoring in clinic payments, the total patient revenue for October came in at $3,093,232.
“That is the second best month you’ve had this year, so you are obviously on a positive trend. I would throw a quick note to that: the business office collected over $2 million last month. That is the highest collection they’ve had this year. Things are starting to improve…and it looks like everything is on the right track.”
The numbers also encouraged Chief Medical Officer John Shell, M.D.
“Those are really good numbers considering that our inpatient service wasn’t high. We should expect those numbers to improve during the illness season.”
Cox stated that accounts receivable are at a 2015 low of 78.72 days, and are expected to drop. Clinic self-pay accounts stand at 63.76 days and are trending down toward a goal of about 50.
“Financially, when I was told I was coming here, and that you were working on the 2014 audit, I had speculation,” Cox said. “But after seeing these numbers, it is just a matter of catching up. We’re on the right track.”
Cox is also working with the outside contractor, HRG, to assure that patient bills are processed quickly.
“That is just a matter of really communicating with HRG, and I think we can do that,” he said. “We can communicate with them the importance of our reputation—this facility’s reputation. Being a local community hospital, we depend upon the residents of this county and we need to maintain their trust at all cost.”
Stukey reported that the executive finance committee approved the accounts payable list earlier in the day. The committee also removed Batchelor’s name as a signatory on CHS banking accounts. Board member Judy Reese, who joined the executive finance committee last month, was added as a signatory.
Hernandez announced that new applications had come in and the CFO search committee would be reactivated. The committee includes board members Smith, Stukey, and Roth, along with Shell, Vice President of Clinical Services Melissa Hall, and Vice President for Human Resources Theresa Thoele. The board authorized the committee to use a recruiting firm if a selection is not made from the existing applicants.
Allegre presented a summary strategic plan for the organization and the board. The plan focuses on roles, oversight, and processes to build a solid organizational foundation and improve current services.
The committee had reviewed an extensive list of suggestions from CHS staff for expanding services throughout the organization with the original intent of compiling a three- to five-year strategic plan, but opted to first go with an attainable short-term plan.
“We didn’t put on here a lot of real specific things, but we’re going to keep all of that material… because it was useful, it was honest, and it was good information. At this time though, some of it is a little too specific to include in a strategic plan.”
Hernandez further explained, “We have some immediate goals that we really need to fix with our financials and employee satisfaction—all those types of things that we could really touch with this summary. You can see that this is primarily a one-year summary of the things that we’ve talked—myself and the board, the leadership groups, the executive team—it’s all those things combined. The focus of this summary is to get us a really good start in 2016 so that we have things to build our strategic plan on moving forward, including physician recruitment and all the other kinds of things that we have to do, but we have to become financially stronger before we can do those things or before we can really commit to doing those things. So that is why this (plan) is focused on the first quarter and the end of 2016. It’s not an all-inclusive strategic plan based on all the sheets (of suggestions) that we had, it is more of a summary to get through 2016. As we work through 2016 with our strategic planning committee, we will be able to develop a stronger plan.”
Shell requested board approval for the following reappointments to the medical staff: Scott Coates, M.D.; Douglas Gleason, M.D.; Andrea Knapp, C.R.N.A.; Stephanie Sedivy, M.D.; Steven K. Madigan, M.D.; Jeff Sloyer, M.D.; Lori Hansford, C.O.; and Kevin Hughes, D.O.
Young distributed the results of a board evaluation designed to help identify characteristics that would be advantageous in potential new board members. The terms of three board members (Smith, Stukey, and Allegre) expire at the end of December. All three are eligible to reapply, though Smith has chosen not to do so. The county will solicit applications from the community.
Director of Quality Improvement Rebecca Thurman presented the quality report. The Quality, Risk Management, and Compliance Committee met on October 27, with Saueressig appointed as chair. The committee approved the quality and risk management plans, but requested revisions to streamline the compliance plan. Quarterly reports will be given to the board beginning in February.
Approval of all committee reports was granted as part of the consent agenda.
In other business:
Following three executive sessions to discuss non-elected personnel totaling 48 minutes, the board approved a revised organizational chart.
Meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.
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