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Ringgold County Hospital’s board of trustees met Monday, August 25 for their regular monthly meeting.
Department reports were heard, and general conversation centered around bed shortages in urban hospitals and how to manage that need by utilizing rural hospitals when possible and as much as possible.
Leading off the meeting, chief of staff, Katie Willcox announced flu shot clinics will be offered in October and CNO, Amy Mobley stated two new physical therapists will be starting on staff the end of September.
Taylor Wilson will also be joining Shelly Shields in imaging upon obtaining her mammography certification.
New Southwestern Community College RN students will also be returning for clinical at RCH with Sarah Musgrove as their instructor.
Jessica Bishop provided information to the board on the apprenticeship grant recently received. The grant includes CNA’s, LPN’s and EMR’s up through paramedics.
The apprentices submit to a timeline to complete their education, competencies are tracked and then tuition is paid for by the grant. A commitment to remain under RCH employment can be required of the apprentices.
Missy Walter, CFO, reported revenue was short in all areas for the month of July.
Inpatient revenue was under budget by $72K, outpatient was short by $244K and primary and specialty clinics came up short by $53K. Walter stated there were very few surgical or orthopedic cases, with both general and ortho surgeons on vacation.
On a positive note, the 340B program did report a nice net revenue of $60,000 with Hy-Vee now as as the primary 340B partner.
On the expense side, charity and bad debts were higher than expected and salaries and wages and health insurance were also over budget with total benefits over by $63K.
Contracted wages were over budget, as well. Fees were under budget by $118K and depreciation came in under budget by $3K. Year to-date bottom line was a loss of $178,770.
After hearing reports, conversation turned to the ongoing statewide shortage of beds in urban hospitals.
Sandra Christensen, Mercy One liaison, weighed in agreeing that there needs to be better communication between facilities as well as protocols that allow patients to stay in their hometown/rural hospitals, when possible, have beds available to them in urban hospitals as needed and be able return to their hometown/rural hospitals, as soon as possible.
The board and Christensen agreed this scenario would be a win/win for patients and facilities but will need cooperation, communication and care coordination between facilities and providers.
The meeting adjourned and went into closed session citing code: 21.5L “to discuss proprietary information.”