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Ringgold County Hospital’s board of trustees met Monday, January 22, opening the meeting with administering the oath of office to all board members and signing the Conflict-of-Interest policy for the new year.
Election of officers was also held.
Officers and current members include Mike Hopkins, chairman; Tessa Barnes, vice-chairman; Kim Lambert, secretary; Karleen Stephens, Greg Jobe, Chris Eaton, and Chris Elwood.
A busy month for the hospital was reported by both chief of staff, Katie Willcox and Director of Nursing Amy Mobley.
New students will be coming into the Mount Ayr Clinic and Southwestern Community College will be sending 5 registered nursing (RN) students who will work one 12-hour shift per week during their time at RCH.
Willcox also stated more mental health patients are being seen through the tele-health clinics being offered. According to Mobley, rooms on the hospital floor are also being updated to better accommodate behavioral health patients.
On the finance side, Missy Walter, CFO reported the numbers for December 2023 came in under budget by approximately $188K.
“A positive still going strong” is the 340B program with a net profit of $53K for the month and a year to date of $313K—$257K over budget.
Walter commented on the program, “It’s definitely a plus to the bottom line.”
Salaries and wages were under budget, but contract labor was over and is expected to remain over until sometime through the end of May.
Walter said employees continue to do a lot of work around the supply area, working with purchasing and providers to cut expenses. As a result, expenses were right at or just ahead of budgeted numbers. With tax money and other investment income the month ended with a positive bottom line of $60,440.
Walter concluded stating, “The year to date shows a small loss of $78K with cash flow overall positive for the month.”
Walter also shared information on further work to bring down the balances on the books in accounts receivables.
Cycle revenue director, Debbie Klommhaus has been monitoring and finding improvement since the start of the new fiscal year beginning in July and going until the first 22 days in January. With a start of over $4 million accounts receivable in July, that number now sits at just under $3 million and has remained there.
The number of accounts in the 0-30 timeframe has dropped significantly, while the number of older accounts has risen.
In keeping in line with MercyOne expectations, the current -4 does not meet expectation. The goal now set is to move that number to 1.
A new plan for collection processes is being looked at to implement continued change and overall improvement in the accounts receivable.
Some new changes currently implemented include a change to a new collection company, CBSI from Oskaloosa, new signage in visible areas of the hospital and clinic, efforts to collect co-pays at the time of service, decreasing the number of statements sent to a patient before a statement goes to collection and sending old AR accounts to collection quicker. Additionally, the hospital is looking into a patient loan program for patients who cannot pay their bill within 24 months and hoping to provide that resource.
Nicky Gilbertson, CEO, shared the following:
Application for a security grant has been started to look at updating the current system. Gilbertson is reviewing RCH systems and consulting with law enforcement, in light of the recent Perry incident, to include safeguards in the case of a similar situation. This could include partnering with other hospitals for backup.
A multi-employer discounted insurance is being considered. This would include joining with other Mercy affiliates and could be positive for both employers and employees. A pooled insurance plan could eliminate some taxes, provide more flexibility and the potential for discounted rates. She expects more information in April or May.
A master facility plan is being performed to show what repairs need to be done moving forward. Additional information will follow.
The regular meeting adjourned as the board moved into closed session citing Code 21.5 (5) (I).
Motion to move into closed session was made by Tessa Barnes and seconded by Chris Elwood. The roll call vote was unanimous.