Henry County Medical Center Board of Trustees April Meeting

Paris, TN – April’s Board of Trustees meeting began with Chief Executive Officer Lisa Casteel’s Administrative report Thursday night.

Currently, there is a lot of activity regarding federal, state, and local healthcare news.  Casteel discussed the continuation of the suspended Medicare sequester cuts, which equates to a direct 2% impact or an estimated $562,000 in Medicare claims annually for HCMC.  Vaccination hesitancy is another big topic both at the federal and state levels, with rural areas seeing a drop in people being vaccinated.  There is grant funding for education and outreach that HCMC is applying for at the federal level and will be working with the state with their planning and implementation of grant funds for this purpose.  Casteel also addressed the Certificate of Need bill that passed and the restoration of the TennCare 340B drug purchasing program reimbursement savings that could impact us financially as well.

Following the Board meeting, HCMC hosted its first “White Long Coat” ceremony for our fourth-year medical students as a send-off to their residency programs.  Eight students, two from William Cary University and six from Lincoln Memorial University, will be receiving their coats from their selected preceptor at the reception and presentation.   The preceptors are members of our Medical Staff who agree to teach in their offices, while making rounds in the hospital, as well as in surgery.  For more information, please read the follow up story about the event on our website at www.hcmc-tn.org.

“It is exciting to be a part of growing physicians in our community,” said Casteel.  “It is so important for our organization and the community to invest in our future healthcare.”

Casteel announced that this week is Volunteer Appreciation week and in May HCMC will be celebrating National Nurses Week (May 6th-12th) and National Healthcare Week (May 9th-12th).

“During Healthcare Week, HCMC will recognize our COVID-19 hospital inpatients, both those who have passed away along with those we have recovered on Monday, May 10,” said Neely Ashby, HCMC CNO/COO.  “We will have a luminary ceremony down Tyson Avenue to recognize them.  We will also be hosting a cookout and other activities during this time for our partners.”

Brad Bloemer, HCMC CFO, discussed the financial reports for March 2021.  Year to date, we have a net income of $2.8 million with $7.3 million recognized in COVID-19 stimulus funds.  For March, HCMC reported a net profit of $144,000 and without stimulus funds, we were still in the positive at $21,000.  Net revenues were up 40% as compared to February 2021.  HCMC saw improvement in admissions, ER visits, Home Health visits, and other outpatient services in the organization.

“This is the best month we have had since I have been here,” said Bloemer.  “Statistics have trended up and we even had a net profit after recognized stimulus funds.  We are currently in a better position than we have been in a while.”

In March, the Healthcare Center has 67 residents verses 63 residents in February, and as of today, they have 71 residents.  They also announced that HCHC is eligible for another PPE loan in the amount of $1.1 million.

Bad debts for the month were approved for $602,000.  Additionally, capital equipment requests were approved for a total of $177,869.

In new business, Bloemer discussed the quarterly investment earnings report.  Currently, our earnings are doing well and have for the past four years.  Everything is being followed to our investment policy for the organization.  He also discussed the interest rates trend analysis for loans. And again, the variable rate loans are at very low rates.

Casteel provided an investment policy revision for the organization in draft form to the Board of Trustees.  Once completed, the Board will be asked to approve at the next meeting.  The goal is to include all our entities in the policy, including the Healthcare Foundation, who receives endowments and donations.

The FY2022 budget will be brought to the Board next month, but Bloemer provided assumptions for developing the budget.  These are estimates and will not be confirmed until next month.  The goal for FY2022 is to show a positive bottom line with basically a break-even budget that begins the growth and efficiencies necessary to attain future minimal budgets of $2 million.  With new and expanded programs, recruiting, and gains in efficiencies, HCMC projects the ability to reach this goal.  “It won’t be easy, but we believe it can be done,” said Bloemer.

Capital budget will solely depend on our ability to borrow funds and will be very tight this next year.  HCMC has committed to roofing projects as well as the chiller project.  HCMC’s borrowing must be approved by its Board of Trustees as well as the County Commission.  Casteel and Bloemer have began those discussions with the County Mayor.

To learn more about the growth at Henry County Medical Center, go to our website at www.hcmc-tn.org and read about all the services we offer to care for our community.

The next Board of Trustees meeting will be May 27 at 5:30 p.m. at Henry County Medical Center with a move back to the Board Room, as long as COVID-19 statistics trends downward.

About Henry County Medical Center

Located in Paris, TN, Henry County Medical Center is a progressive, integrated healthcare organization committed to serving the healthcare needs of Henry County and the adjoining region. Including a 142-bed hospital and 7 other facilities, the medical center provides a variety of outpatient services, as well as inpatient care. Henry County Medical Center is a county-owned and operated nonprofit institution. For more information: www.hcmc-tn.org.