Henry County Medical Center Board of Trustees Learn of Delta Region Community Health Systems Development Program at Oct. Board Meeting

CUTLINE 1:  Pictured is Twila Rose, Director of EMS, as she shares her Director’s report with the board at Thursday night’s meeting.

Paris, TN – The Delta Region Community Health System Development Program staff began Thursday night’s HCMC Board of Trustees meeting with a meet and greet kick-off educational session on the three year grant that Henry County Medical Center has been awarded to help the organization move towards population health.

The grant program, funded by the National Rural Health Resource Center, Delta Regional Authority, and the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, met with the management team earlier in the day to discuss the program, expectations, and components of the program which will include community care coordination, hiring a community champion, and providing technical assistance and service line development through the three year process.

The National Rural Health Resource Center will be providing technical assistance throughout the program and will begin be assessing and evaluating our quality and financial performance along with hiring a community champion to begin determine needs and prioritizing how to continue to keep health in rural communities sustainable.  The value of the grant each year can mean up to $250,000 to the organization in consultation, equipment, and staff.

“We do a lot of these things already and we are hopeful to see how we can improve and do more with your help,” said Dr. Scott Whitby, HCMC Board Chairman.

HCMC applied for the grant in early August and received confirmation of the award in August.  A total of 10 organizations were awarded this grant this year.  Next steps will include community care coordination planning activities, consultation visits, and submission of data to the program for review.  A formal news release will be issued related to the award of this grant at a later time.

Lisa Casteel, CEO, presented her administrative report, sharing with the board regulatory news from the federal level regarding price transparency as well as state news related to opioid lawsuits and a discussion on bad debt.  Currently, one in four Tennesseans has medical bad debt.

In growth, Casteel discussed the continued search for a pediatrician, general surgeon and psychiatrist.  She also discussed the Cancer Care Center board meeting that was held in Memphis, where it was approved to purchase a new linear accelerator for the facility.  The replacement began this month with hopes to reopen this service to the community in January.  Patients needing this service are being directed to the other Cancer Care Center locations or other locations that provide this service.

The meeting continued with a presentation by Dale Guffey, CFO on the financials for September.  Casteel noted in her administrative report that the organization had struggled the first three months of the year, with confirmation by Guffey’s report.  Overall admissions for the month were down by 3%, with most service lines showing volumes down.  Operating expenses were up for the month, which translated into a $946,239 loss for the month.

Bad debt in the amount of $661,854 was approved by the board along with capital projects totaling $173,086.  Items included an ultrasound system, wheelchairs, Stryker stretchers, and bariatric reclining chairs.  Guffey also provide a report on interest earnings and analysis.

In other business, the board approved another board term appointment of four years for Jamie Tosh of Tosh Farms.  Casteel and Dr. Whitby will present this to the Henry County Commission for approval.

Billie McKee, Chief Human Resources Officer, gave a presentation on Service and Community to the board.  She reviewed the customer service scores for the organization as well as presented on the strategic objectives for this pillar for fiscal year 2020.  In her report, she discussed the continued plans to utilize the patient and family advisory council on projects and performance improvement for the organization including upcoming renovations to the Emergency Department.  Neely Ashby, Chief Nursing Officer, was a panelist on patient and family advisory councils at the annual Tennessee Hospital Association meeting as well as provided a poster presentation.

Additional goals revolved around meeting with elected officials, chamber members, other community members to encourage them to support healthcare in our community as well as engaging our own partners in education, scripting, and rounding for better outcomes.  Also, the organization will begin to take on a philanthropic project to meet the healthcare needs of the community.

Casteel and several physicians presented to the Henry County Commission on Monday night about the growth at HCMC and the importance of healthcare in our community.  HCMC has also been involved with Positively Paris and Henry County and Casteel will assume the role of President for the Health Alliance of TN on Nov. 1.

A review of contracted services was presented to the board which reviewed contract performance for radiology physicians, emergency physicians, pathology, and neonatology.  The review is required by JCAHO.  The board approved the report.

The regular Board of Trustees meeting was adjourned and the EMS board meeting began with approval of minutes and a review of the financials by Guffey.  For the year, volumes are down by 54 runs.  Financials were approved.

Twila Rose, EMS Director, gave her report which included some cost reduction measures they have implemented as well as discussion on some state initiatives including an increased payment on TennCare rates as well as a push for the state of TN to get EMS considered an essential service so that services across the state can become eligible for federal grants and funding that they are currently not eligible for at this time.

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 Tuesday, November 26 in the HCMC Board Room.  The normal meeting date was changed due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

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.