Henry County Medical Center Board of Trustees Learn about Stimulus Grants and the Impact of COVID-19 on Operations

CUTLINE – Neely Ashby, CNO, announced that DeAnn Berry, Director of Critical Care, has been nominated for THA Nurse of the Year.  Pictured is Berry.

Paris, TN – Henry County Medical Center Board of Trustees learned about the various stimulus grants that have been awarded to the organization as presented by Chief Executive Officer, Lisa Casteel at Thursday’s meeting.  In April, $4.5 million was recognized as income to assist with the loss of revenues from COVID-19.

These grants will assist with the losses of business incurred from the mandated stopping of elective and on-urgent surgeries and procedures as well as assist with the excess costs during the pandemic.

In Casteel’s administrative report, she discussed the surveillance monitoring for COVID-19 in the community and surrounding region, sharing the tool that the organization has been using with the board.  Of  note, there has been no significant change in information pertaining to COVID-19 this month.  Casteel stated that we will continue with full operations unless there is a trend of significance noted through our surveillance.

She also provided links to the Executive Orders for the State of TN given by Governor Lee.  The balanced scorecard was presented and reviewed, with everything tracking fairly well except for the ER door to doctor time and the operating profit margin.  The partnership with AMR to take over the ambulance service at HCMC will begin on July 1, 2020.  Also, Casteel encouraged the board to continue to visit our website and social media platforms for more information related to COVID-19.  HCMC currently maintains its fully-restricted visitation policy.  Plans are to relax this policy mid-June.

Financially, HCMC was impacted by COVID-19 substantially in the month of April.  Statistically, the only thing positive for the month of April was births.  We were off 34% of admissions from prior year.  Surgeries were off line by 75% with only 168 surgeries done in April as compared to 681 budgeted.  The consolidated month end was $2.5 million positive, but was only achieved from the grants related to COVID-19.  Before recording the grant funding, HCMC lost $3.5 million in collections and $1 million in fixed costs that it could not reduce due to required operating standards.  Year-to-date, HCMC has a loss of $3.1 million.  The board approved the financial report along with $375,992.64 in bad debt and $14,177 in capital equipment including an air compressor, heater, E-stim Ultrasound Combo, and PTAC units.

Casteel went into some detail about how to improve operations beginning July 1, 2020 including changes in benefits, reductions in staffing, the EMS take over, as well as the pharmacy 340B drug purchasing program.  All these changes equate to $3.3 million in reductions with HCMC looking at a reduction of $1.1 million additionally in supply changes.

With no unfinished business and no new business, the board heard a presentation from Neely Ashby, Chief Nursing Officer, on the quarterly quality report discussing the effects of COVID-19 on surgical services, critical care, and the emergency room.  Ashby noted that we have not required COVID-19 testing prior to surgery at our facility nor do we provide the rapid testing for patients.  All patients receive the screening questions, have their temperature checks, and if showing symptoms, are immediately sent for testing and surgeries cancelled.  April saw 178 surgical cases, a 75% reduction, with May rebounding with 532 cases.

In critical care, HCMC saw a significant increase in ventilated patients.  We have seen both a month over month and month over prior year growth in patients, ventilator days, and ventilator hours.  This is contributed to both COVID-19 patients and Dr. Carruth being at HCMC.  Ventilator days for March and April were both 65 compared to 18 last year for the same months.  Ventilator hours were 448% more in April 2020 compared to April 2019.   In the ER, our volumes decreased and therefore, had more admissions from the ER.  Also, our door to provider time has reduced to 30 minutes in April.

The board discussed the video for the financials and wants to continue with this format so that more in depth discussion of the financials can be held during the board meetings.

“I think this is excellent and we want to continue this format as we move forward,” said Dr. Scott Whitby, HCMC Board of Trustees Chairperson.

Additionally, under miscellaneous, Casteel discussed opening up for events such as the Auxiliary Jewelry Sale and a Paris and Henry County Healthcare Foundation fundraiser to be put on by Perrylogic Brewing Company and a local physician.

Ashby announced that she had submitted a nomination for 2020 THA  Nurse of the Year for DeAnn Berry, RN, CCU Director.  The video by THA is posted on our social media platforms.  Ashby said the nomination was for the excellent job that she and the CCU staff have done with the COVID-19 efforts.  To view a video about her experience during the pandemic, click here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMK05a_Fve0&t=10s

Dr. Whitby ended the meeting by going around the meeting with the board members contributing comments for the month.  All had positive things to say.

“I want to commend the efforts of HCMC Administration and staff during this time,” said Sabra Fuller, Board Member.  “I appreciate everything.”

Dr. Whitby encouraged all members to continue to look at the resources like the CDC website for the most up-to-date information related to COVID-19.  He also said to make sure to be diligent and continue to wear masks and watch crowds.  Hopefully, we will be able to attend in the board room at HCMC in June.  The Zoom option will also be available.

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 Thursday, June 25 at 5:30 p.m. at Henry County Healthcare Center.

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.