Henry County Medical Center Board of Trustees Hears Update on COVID-19, People Strategic Pillar and Financial Review at February Board Meeting

Paris, TN – Lisa Casteel, Chief Executive Officer, shared with the Henry County Medical Center Board of Trustees Thursday night in her Administrative report several federal, state and local healthcare issues.  Henry County Healthcare Center is eligible for the second PPP Loan of $1.5 million and has submitted the application.

The Certificate of Need reform is back in legislation at the state level with further proposed changes in regulations to move toward no Certificate of Need process.  She also discussed the recent vaccination PODS at HCMC as well as the Health Department.  HCMC vaccinated 400 people at Wednesday’s Drive Thru POD.  Currently, our county is at 16.2% vaccinated with the state of TN at 10.6%.

Statistically, the state of TN, the West District, and Henry County has seen decreases in the positivity rate.  Today, Henry County is at 17.6% positivity rate.  Additionally, there has been less testing at the state level, the West District, and Henry County.  HCMC has had little to no COVID-19 cases over the past three weeks.

“Foot traffic in the ER related to COVID-19 has seen a reduction,” said Casteel.  “Inpatients have dropped to zero this week.  Yet, as we evaluate visitation, we have also looked at the county positivity rate, and it has been high for us, which has caused us to pause before opening visitation.”

HCMC plans to relax the visitation restrictions beginning Monday, March 1.  For details of the entire policy, please see additional release:  https://www.hcmc-tn.org/news/hcmc-announces-revised-visitation-policy-beginning-march-1/

In other news, HCMC is reviewing information for a possible gastroenterologist and had a visit with a general surgeon.  HCMC has also closed the COVID unit with the reduction of cases in the hospital.

Brad Bloemer, Chief Financial Officer, reviewed the financial report for January.  HCMC had a net income of $213,965.  COVID-19 impacted the organization the most this month due to the increased costs in staffing and the low volumes. Over the fiscal year, HCMC saw an increase in staffing costs with $2.6 million spent on crisis pay, retention pay, and contract costs.

“We believe that we can work to improve our financials with opportunities such as the spine clinic expansion, implementing suggestions form the Delta grant review, and review all expenses,” said Bloemer.

Bad debts for the month were approved for $589,481.76.  Additionally, a few capital equipment requests were approved by the board.

Casteel reviewed the managed services contracts with radiology, ER, pathology, PedforAll, LifeLinc, hyperbaric, and the Cancer Care Center.  All are performing well and have favorable customer service scores.

Rachel Carroll, Director of Human Resources, provided a report on the People strategic pillar.  Currently, we are working with Press Ganey for our employee engagement survey as well as implementing programs in workforce development.  Carroll reviewed some of the openings at HCMC including several nursing positions.  There have been changes made in the HR department including reorganization of personnel, relocating the department beside Administration as well as finalizing the employee handbook which is online for partners.  Carroll discussed the Northwest TN Workforce grants received by the organization including a $15,000 training grant program as well as an $8,000 On-The-Job training grant for recent graduates.

“As of today, HCMC has recruited five more RNs to organization thanks to another new nurse as well as two nurse interns graduating from Murray State University,” said Neely Ashby, Chief Nursing Officer.

Bloemer discussed the Physician Clinic Revenue Cycle Review with the board.  He discussed the seven clinics that the hospital owns, including the providers at the clinics, and the review by BKD with each clinic and its providers.  BKD was engaged by the Delta grant to conduct a review for our provider clinics.  BKD concluded that we had fewer claims that are denied than the average organization, but there is an area of opportunity in our accounts receivable to reduce the maturity of accounts.  Seven recommendations for improvement to our process were outlined including revenue cycle, coding, and communications with our providers.

Casteel discussed plans for our strategic planning meetings, looking to change the format with two of the strategic planning meetings coinciding with our board meetings.  The first will be in March.

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 March 25 at 5:30 p.m. at Henry County Medical Center in Classrooms 2 & 3 or via Zoom.

 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.