Physical Therapy Addition Planned for PMC

The Prowers Medical Center board of directors voted to move forward on a capital development bond for the November 2011 general election.  The $5 million bond will finance construction costs for a 13,247 square foot physical therapy addition to the hospital.  James Fairchild, hospital CPA, received board approval July 27 to retain a legal firm to develop the ballot proposal by August 23.  The addition will provide necessary space for several services at PMC including: a new Outpatient Pulmonary Rehabilitation program; a planned Cardiac Rehabilitation program and a new Pacemaker Clinic.  The hospital anticipates increasing demand for these services, and the addition will allow Physical and Occupational Therapy, Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation to use the same exercise space, and two multi-purpose rooms will be constructed.  Board members approved two capital improvement requests.  The hospital is replacing the aged flooring in the kitchen with an epoxy covering which will take a week to complete, and the hospital’s vacuum pumping system will be replaced with a unit that can be expanded to meet any increased needs at the hospital.  Fairchild explained the kitchen will be down for the week’s work which will be done when the hospital staff and patient numbers are low. 

Maxine Montano, Chief Clinical Officer, provided a Critical Access Services review of 2010 for the board, highlighting the number of patients served and the nature of their medical care.  There were 131 births in 2010 at PMC, and 516 surgeries were performed.  The emergency room had 6,169 visits resulting in 877 admissions.  Fairchild said the number of visits to the ER was increasing, but at the same time, the number of visits to the Convenient Care Clinic, although significant, was fluctuating.  The Clinic was developed by the hospital as a means to siphon off, non-life threatening emergency visits to the ER and reduce the expenses of operating the ER as well.  Montano noted figures for other hospital services including:  Chemotherapy visits, Cardiopulmonary services, Imaging services such as CT scans, mammography, ultra sounds and MRIs, Lab services, Rehab Therapy, Pharmacy and Specialty Clinic visits. 

Audrey Kane, the interim Chief Financial Officer, provided figures for the June report.  There was a net loss of $34,105.  The month had been budgeted for a new income of $119,486.  Net Patient Revenues for June were $1,819,942 which is $206,604 less than had been budgeted.  Cash at month-end was $115,692 from the previous month.  The cash on hand represents 83 cash-on-hand days which is a three day decrease from the previous month.  Fairchild and board members discussed how potential cuts in Medicaid and Medicare at the federal level would impact PMC.  Fairchild said he’s noted that, “a lot of patients have been cancelling their personal medical insurance payments and going with CICP, Colorado Indigent Care Program, which places a financial burden on the hospital.”  Fairchild also noted that many patients are opting to reduce their insurance premiums by expanding to a $5,000 deductible instead of $500.  For that reason he stressed the need to increase the cash-on-hand days to 100 to 110.  He said that money in the bank can help sustain the hospital if PMC encounters delays in federal medical reimbursements. 

Two doctors specializing in internal medicine are scheduled to join the PMC staff.  Dr. Jeniffer Chiu will begin her practice on August 29 and Dr. Camillo Franklyn will start on September 1.  The board also approved an Educational Assistance Request from Krista Currell who will sign a one year contract with the hospital in return for expenses for her online training to become a lab technician. 

By Russ Baldwin


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