PMC Institutes New Billing System, Increases Medical Interpreter Staff


The last bills to patients have been issued from Prowers Medical Center using the former system this past month.  Hospital CEO, Craig Loveless said during the regular monthly board meeting on Wednesday, October 25, that a new billing system will go into effect the first of the month.  Loveless said he anticipates an increase in questions from patients over their statements.   

“Some patients may receive additional account statements while we’re switching from the old system to the new one,” he explained.  “We’ve anticipated that this may happen and we hope that our patients will understand while we straighten out any questions they have,” Loveless added for the board members.   Questions from the public will be handled by PMC staff from the hospital.   Under a self pay system, the hospital will collect a deposit and work out a payment calendar with the patient.  A 40% discount for those who can pay in full within 30 days will remain in effect.  Earlier this year, Loveless said the change was one that was long needed and the new system will help clarify what the patients are being billed for on their statements.  He said that part of the billing will be coordinated using current PMC staff.   

Charles Martin from the hospital site planning committee said he had received four bids for a 12 by 17 foot building to house the new vacuum pump which services several medical facilities at Prowers Medical Center.  CPI Group, an architectural and design firm specializing in hospital construction, is reviewing plans and bids, and will make a recommendation for a temporary storage facility.  They will also plan to accommodate that building into future hospital construction for best use of space. 

Chief Operating Officer at PMC, Karen Bryant, reviewed the past month’s “Linked in Pink” campaign, noting several community activities to bring awareness to breast cancer issues and recapped the October 29 Women’s Health Night, set for the Cultural Events Center in Lamar from 5:45pm to 8pm.  “We have six speakers lined up for this Monday night,” she said, “and most of the information sessions will last about 15 minutes, all focused on screenings that identify, prevent or treat women’s health issues.”  Bryant added that there are four sponsors for this year’s annual event: Prowers Medical Center, High Plains Community Health Center, Prowers County Public Health and Environment and new this year, Southeast Behavioral Health Group. 

PMC Language Coordinator Elia Trujillo was given special recognition by the board as she has finished providing a 40 hour training course to five employees at the hospital.  Trujillo completed training herself, allowing her to become an instructor to the five who will be able to act as medical interpreters for patients at the hospital.  Prior to the completion of the course by the other students, Elia Trujillo was the only qualified medical interpreter at PMC.  Trujillo noted that of the 35% of Hispanic population in Lamar, 25% were not English or very limited English speaking residents.  She said the addition of the five interpreters will be a great help to providing extended medical coverage in the area.

 Earlier this fall, PMC board members reviewed several policy upgrades or changes and approved the ten recommended, ranging from Telemedicine Policy, Abuse Prevention, Delegation of Authority, and Personal Conduct for Team Members and CDC Recommendations for Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens.  The directors voted to approve a $16,000 capital expenditure for a new fetal monitor and will plan to purchase two additional monitors early in 2013, replacing outdated models. 

Because of a schedule conflict, next month’s PMC Board of Director’s meeting has been moved to November 27 at 6pm.

By Russ Baldwin


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