Henry County Medical Center Board of Trustees Review Healthcare Trends, Balanced Scorecard, Cost Management Action Plans, and Update on Community at January Meeting

CUTLINE:  Pictured is Billie McKee, CHRO, giving her quarterly report on Community to the HCMC Board of Trustees on Thursday night.

Paris, TN – Community and how to care for it during a time of continued changes in reimbursement and financial obstacles was discussed thoroughly at Thursday night’s Henry County Medical Center Board of Trustees January meeting.  Chief Executive Officer Lisa Casteel began the meeting with a review of the organization’s balanced scorecard, showcasing columns where we are meeting or exceeding goals in most all areas, except for our bottom line.

Casteel says “It comes down to expenses.  How to manage today’s growing expenses with today’s changed reimbursement, is the challenge. We are reviewing all contracts, marketing programs, and general expenses. “

Casteel stated that all service lines are being reviewed for viability and sustainability.  With our growth, we have taken on costly contract labor.  Dr. Scott Whitby, Chairman of the Board, asked about the Lake Haven Behavioral Unit and its ability to be profitable or break even.

“It is a much needed service, but at some point, we have to be able to sustain the service,” said Dr. Whitby.  “Since 1995, this service has yet to stay at a break even, consistently.”

We are not there and continue to look at how to accomplish this.

Casteel also addressed four top issues in politics that are shaping healthcare and healthcare costs:  out of control drug costs, changes in Medicaid, Medicare Advantage Innovation, and social barriers influencing health.  She gave plans for several from HCMC to attend Healthcare Legislative Day in February at the state capital to discuss many of these topics including telehealth, charity care statues, certificate of need, and rural hospital support.

HCMC is still working to recruit a general surgeon and a pediatrician.  Currently, Paris Pediatrics has a locum tenens, Dr. Church, working at the clinic.  Long Range Planning will meet on February 13 with information collected by our management staff as well as financial and strategic input from DRCHSD grant program consultants.

Also reported are plans to host a presentation from Lincoln Memorial University to discuss developing a rural residency medical program.  More details will be forthcoming on this meeting.

In our financial report, Dale Guffey, CFO, reported that HCMC continues to see growth in many areas.  Admissions, ER visits, and Surgeries all were better than budget and prior year.  Births continue to grow as well as physician RVUs.  Net revenue was up; however, HCMC saw a $22,000 loss for the month and a $3.2 million loss for the year.  The majority of expenses are related to salaries, which reflect adding staff and orienting them for the new programs launching as well as agency staffing costs.  The board approved this report along with $620,321 in bad debt and $318,557 in capital equipment requests with the biggest portion of the funds going to purchase a software upgrade to our cardiac cath equipment.  Guffey also provided the board with an investment analysis and it was discussed it might be time to look at refinancing our debt to take advantage of lower interest rates provided by recent legislative policies.

Billie McKee, CHRO, provided her quarterly report on Community at the meeting.  She reviewed the current patient satisfaction scores including an improvement in the inpatient score as well as scores in the emergency room and surgery/surgery center.  She also updated the group on the successes of the Patient and Family Advisory Council.

Twila Rose, HCMC EMS Director, shared during the EMS Board Meeting a resolution that was approved by the County Commission in support for TennCare to reimburse ground ambulance providers at the current Medicare fee schedule.  This could provide $140,000 in additional revenue to the ambulance service.  HCMC EMS expects to receive their new ambulance in April or May.  The state recently surveyed all the ambulances and they all met regulations without deficiencies.  She also reported that the service began using the new radio system last week.  The financials for EMS were also reviewed and approved by the board.

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, February 27 at 5 p.m. in the HCMC Board Room.

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.