MCHHS Board Of Trustees Meets

The Board of Directors of the Mitchell County Hospital Health Systems held their regular monthly meeting Monday afternoon. The board consists of Curt Frasier, Chairman; Robert Lampert, Secretary; Mike Heller, Treasurer; Carla McPeak, Dr. Kris G. Kimple MD; and Brigit Gasper, Trustees. Others present were David Dick, Hospital Administrator, Eldon Koepke, Chief Financial Officer; Marianne Sahlfeld, Recorder and Stephanie Simmons, Mitchell County Regional Medical Foundation (MCRMF).

Stephanie Simmons gave a report on the Regional Medical Foundation's activities for the past month. The contractors are finishing the new roof on the Purdue House, which took approximately one week to complete. The Foundation recently received a $5,000 grant from the Amerigroup Foundation to use on the Perdue House Project. They have also been working on putting a new under laying layer on the porch roof since some of the boards were rotten. Simmons said they are hoping to use part of the grant money to pay for this. They are going to get a contract with a contractor to do a window assessment to determine a rate of deterioration scale on them.

Simmons thanked everyone who supported the Foundations Annual Golf Tournament on August 1. Eighty-eight players took part making 13 teams. Their number of Platinum sponsors was up this year. They netted $19,337.24 off of the tournament and this is $4,000 more than last year. The Raffle and the on line auction went well with the auction netting $5,000.

They have started their free Impact Testing and Cardiac Testing for area athletes for all area schools including Beloit High, St John's, Tipton, Rock Hills and Thunder Ridge. They hope to get more grant money next year so they can include more schools. The impact testing is 95 percent finished at this time. Amid all this other activity the Foundation has also launched a new web site. You can go to www.MitchellCounty.MCRMF.org. They are using this site to get information out to people who have left the community but are still interesting in donating to this fund.

Hospital Administrator, David Dick gave a quality improvement report on the hospital's Satisfaction Survey. They had to find a new vendor as the first one went out of business. Results can be seen on the Medic-care website. The hospital was approved for the Kansas CAH Lean Project grant and are working to streamline the Admission/Discharge Process.

Administrator Dick gave a Electronic Medical Record Progress Report and said they have completed the Stage One Attestation as of 8-21-13. Eldon Kopek, CFO, looked into the situation and the hospital will be reimbursed for the funds spent on Phase 1 in the amount of $700,000. It will be a one-time thing he explained; but more income will be forth coming as they finish Stage Two of the Attestation process. They will have to purchase the software for this from Medi-Tech.

The hospital received a letter from Tom Bell, President and CEO of the Office of Kansas Hospital Assn. (KHA), saying they have had a troubling report from the office of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) that made new recommendations for the future of the Critical Access Hospital program. Bell sent a letter to Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, in Washington, D.C., informing her that in essence this report recommends that Congress allow the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to strip critical access designation from any hospital that was brought into the program under the "necessary provider" designation. The report confirms that many in rural areas that the regulatory agencies in Washington do not understand the nature of the delivery of rural healthcare in our country. The report would substitute the determination of the federal government for that of the states, even though those states are closer to and more knowledgeable about rural healthcare in a given area. The report is shortsighted and avoids any real discussion about how to reshape the delivery of rural healthcare as we go forward, according to Bell.

"Kansas has 83 critical access hospitals which is more than any other states and the role they play in the healthcare landscape is of paramount importance since they treat hundreds of thousands of patients across our state annually. Simply put, they are the safety net for their communities," Bell said. "These recommendations would have drastic ramifications for these hospitals and the Kansans they serve, he urged Secretary Sebelius to oppose any attempt to enact any of these proposals into law." Administrator Dick said this in no way affects this hospital at this time and neither does President Ocala's proposed program. The government thinks these cuts will save Medicare but it will actually cost more, Dick said.

In his Solomon Valley Hospice Progress Report, Mr. Dick said they are looking for a fundraiser to help finish out this project. If 300 donors would give forty or fifty dollars each it would be enough to do this, he told the board.

The Fire Marshall was in and did a Hospital Survey. They are correcting the deficiencies and are not quite done with the nursing home part yet. They have to do a fire drill on every shift now and must scramble up the times these are done so it is not at a set time. They also have some changes to make when they do their generator testing. Several junction boxes didn't have lids on them and some computers were sitting in the hallway to be disposed of. They need to have an out-of- house company do their equipment testing from now on which will cost another $4,000.

CFO Koepke reported the hospital needs to update some new C-arm software for the X-ray area that the young surgeon, Dr. Vernon thinks they need. He comes in on Mondays to perform surgery. Patients have to be sent on to Salina for this at the present time. Some felt they needed more information before making this decision. Dr. Kemple said Dr. Vernon has made a serious commitment in doing this work.
After discussion the board voted unanimously to spend the money to buy the software.

Tammy Hajny, who has 10 years in he Environmental Services, was the only Years of Service recipient this month. CFO Koepke gave a financial and budget report after which the board went into an executive session to discuss non-elected personnel.

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