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Hospital improvements reported to city council

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Nevada Daily Mail

Directors of Nevada Regional Medical Center told the Nevada City Council in their annual report that the hospital experienced a $3,405,680 financial turnaround, recruited four new doctors and added eight beds to its Senior Behavioral Health Unit during fiscal 2012.

In their regular monthly meeting Tuesday night and their last confab of the year, board members also reported telling the council Nov. 20 that out-patient volumes improved by 5.2 percent while emergency department visits went up by 6.1 percent and in-patient volumes by .1 of a percent.

Net patient revenues increased by $3,923,747, or 13.5 percent, while salaries and supplies as percentages of net revenues decreased from 36.6 to 34.5 percent and from 12 percent to 10.8 percent, respectively, they said.

Net operating income for the year totaled $1,798,253, up from $1,607,427; however, the hospital got a one-time Medicaid Meaningful Use Payment of $1,023,000 for implementing electronic records.

It also introduced a VNUS radio-frequency ablation procedure for treating vericose veins, implemented oncology services and re-established hospice care services, the report said.

In other business, Chief Financial Officer Tommy McGee said a $705,000 annual payment had been made to bond-holders and that year-to-date discharges of patients by Oct. 31 were 12.3 percent above last year's. Board member Cathy Hissink was absent.

Chief Executive Officer Judy Feuquay said plans had been developed to expand bed capacity in the obstetrics department by installing a second set of double doors in the 2East overflow unit, and she said hyperbaric services will start in April with equipment having been selected and a consulting agreement under review. Hyperbaric medicine entails the use of oxygen at a level higher than atmospheric pressure to treat such conditions as gas gangrene and carbon monoxide poisoning, according to references.

"We're recruiting for a surgical services director, physical therapist and assistant, occupational therapist, speech pathologist, information technology network administrator, IT clinical analyst, medical scribe, emergency department admissions clerk, registered nurses, certified nursing assistants and a housekeeping supervisor," Feuquay said in her written report.

"Relocation planning is starting for offices in the Medical Arts Building and floor replacement is scheduled at the Rich Hill Family Medical Clinic in December. Re-roofing is complete at the Sheldon clinic."

The board's November capital expenditures included $124,521 for a second high definition laparoscopic tower from Stryker Laparoscopes, $110,745 to replace the cooling tower in the hospital's North Tower and $20,995 for ventilator replacement parts.

The panel distributed a report from Quorum Health Resources of Brentwood, Tenn., its managerial consultant, that the federal Affordable Care Act has put a new light on the appointment of board members. "The ACA has changed the traditional hospital business model," said QHR.

"These changes make it imperative for board members to possess specific expertise and skills to help their hospital navigate the current challenges (legal, finance, compliance, physician, public policy, communication and quality)."

Quoting HealthLeaders Media, the company said, "In an environment of extreme ambiguity, hospitals need board members with a wealth of diverse experience and skills."

The panel also accepted a report that Missouri ranked 36th among the states in deaths from Alzheimer's disease with 28.4 annually per 100,000 people in 2008. New York and Hawaii were the nation's best with 9.9 and 11.8, respectively. while Tennessee and Washington were the worst with 37.3 and 45.7. Kansas tied California for 31st with 27.9, Louisiana was 44th with 31, Arkansas was 25th with 26.1 and Oklahoma was 24th with 25.8.

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