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A federally mandatory pharmacy remodel project at Ringgold County Hospital will exceed budgeted funds, RCH adminstrator Gordon Winkler reported to hospital board trustees at their regular monthly meeting held Monday, May 20.
The project is required to meet federal pharmaceutical regulations USP 797 and USP 800 which requires three separate rooms to be set up for medication preparation – a non hazardous room, a hazardous room and an anteroom. The deadline to be in compliance with the two regulations is December 1.
Winkler stated after meeting with Invision Architect and Bluestone Engineering on the project, it was determined the total project estimate would come in closer to a $400,000 mark, substantially over the estimated budget of $250,000. The variance is due largely to a new HVAC roof-top unit to provide separate heating and cooling and to meet required air exchange standards. Winkler also advised the board the project amount would now meet public bid thresholds, which would also factor into difficulty meeting the December deadline.
Due to the increased dollar amount and additional timeframe with the public bid process, Winkler informed the board documents were being prepared to present to the Iowa Board of Pharmacy requesting a deadline waiver. The extension would allow RCH to spread the project over two fiscal years with completion of the project and total compliance with the regulations anticipated by Summer 2020. With the project already in the planning stages, it is expected the Board of Pharmacy will grant the extension as long as the project continues to move forward.
In the wake of statewide concerns and questions regarding Medicaid providers after the exit of United HealthCare and AmeriHealth, Winkler told the board he was happy to report Ringgold County Hospital and Mount Ayr Medical Clinic have signed an agreement with the new Iowa Total Care program for Medicaid eligible patients. Additionally, there is good news for patients with Medicare Advantage plans. RCH has been accepted into United HealthCare’s Medicare Advantage plans, with an anticipated start date in mid-July. The hospital is also working to reach an agreement with Coventry.
Highlighting hospital departments and programs, Winkler praised the Senior Life Solutions program as it “continues to blossom.” He pointed out Senior Life Solutions efforts in continuing to be active in providing information and positively supporting mental health awareness in the community and supporting area school programs. Senior Life Solutions is typically at capacity for providing group services with around 10-13 fully participating clients at all times.
Missy Walters presented the financial report for the month of April and the year to date. Inpatient revenue was short, outpatient and clinic revenue was up with the net result missing the mark by $5,400 net for the month. Contractuals and charity care ran on the high side for April and expenses were mostly as expected with a dip in supply expense due to the absence of Dr. Homedan and no orthopedic surgeries. The month closed with a net loss of $102,000 and a year-to-date loss of $723,000.