Focus on Finances at PMC Board Meeting

Front Drive and Drop Off Area for Hospital

Front Drive and Drop Off Area for Hospital

The Prowers Medical Center Board of Directors held their first monthly meeting since the official groundbreaking ceremony was held, April 13, for their 18 month, $12M renovation project.  The directors approved a modification to the Parkview Memorial Hospital affiliation agreement, limiting the contract to one year, renewable annually, instead of an open-ended schedule.  Parkview will continue to send various medical providers to Prowers Medical Center, increasing the range of treatments which will be available on a local level.  Chief Executive Officer, Craig Loveless noted, “This will keep both parties talking with each other through the year.”

The board took no action on initiating an ACO, or Accountable Care Organization at the hospital, but at the suggestion of board chairman, Julie Branes, will set up a work session to discuss the merits of the proposal.  Board member, Ronnie Farmer, is opposed to the plan, “After attending the webinar and seminar, I see nothing in this that benefits the patients at the hospital,” he stated.  Farmer acknowledged that an ACO may be a future cost of doing business, but feels that an ACO is another layer of bureaucracy that has to be dealt with.  An ACO, in overview, provides coordinated health services, mainly to Medicare recipients in an effort to lower medical costs.  The board referenced it being used for the outpatient clinic at this point.  There is a reimbursable start up cost of $1,000 which must accompany a letter of intent by May 1st from PMC and another $24,000 which can be retrieved once the application is approved.  It was noted that the hospital will bear out of pocket expenses in the future when they hire a full time patient care coordinator that comes with the program.  One facet of the program evaluates a patient’s care so that they are not readmitted to the hospital within a specific time span, with the same ailment that prompted their initial visit.

Board members took no immediate action on a Colorado University, Rural Track Scholarship Presentation, held in early April.  Prowers Medical Center is working with the school, to provide a scholarship to future doctors in return for a four year commitment to PMC once they’ve finished their residency of four years.  The hospital is being asked to consider reducing the four year employment to two years.  This ties in, in a way, to the hospital’s in-house program of offering educational loans to employees for a five year commitment at a rate of $5,000 per year.  It was noted that these are two different programs, a scholarship agreement versus the residency program.  These policies will also be discussed in a future work session.

Registered Nurse, Mickey Aguilera of the Home Health Center, informed the board that two program surveyors from the state reviewed the overall operation of the Center and found no deficiencies in two main areas: a certification survey and federal review of Medicare procedures, and a state licensor survey on daily guidelines, covering 15 categories of patient care.  The state surveyors, she said, accompanied members of her staff on five separate home visits which included interviews with the patients regarding the level of care they had been receiving.  A follow-up article on the Home Health Center at Prowers Medical Center is being developed.

The board approved $42,608 for equipment used for intricate surgery to bones in hand and feet for the hospital’s visiting podiatrist.  This was an almost 50% reduction in the regular cost.  Stephanie Martinson provided the quarterly Quality Report for the board for the New Beginnings Birth Center and the Med Surge Departments.  The basic questions asked were, “How often did your nurse explain procedures in a way you could understand and how often were potential side effects for medications or treatments explained to you?”  She also noted that PMC will host a Colorado Rural Health Center in June.

CEO Loveless noted that during his address during the groundbreaking ceremonies, he inadvertently omitted the staff that services the hospital’s Rehabilitation department as well as the medical staff.  “I regret that not everyone was mentioned and it goes without saying that we can’t do any of our work without the efforts of every department at the hospital.”  Loveless also noted a recent and costly problem that has developed with an unmarked power line underneath the construction site.  He told the board this oversight could have caused injuries from being omitted in the initial survey of the work area and the cost to move the line, $24,000, has drained the construction contingency fund.  Loveless said the finances for repair will be discussed with the Lamar Utilities Board.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinesscommunityEconomyFeaturedHealthLamarProwers CountyPublic SafetyUtilities


About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.