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Hospital Committee talks staffing, updates

POSTED August 7, 2017 8:24 a.m.

By Brian Lund
    LAFAYETTE COUNTY – Wayne Wilson, acting chair of the Lafayette County Hospital Committee, called the meeting held Monday, July 31 at 7:00 a.m. to order. Bob Boyle, county board member and committee member attended the meeting via speaker phone.
    Regarding the agenda, Larry Ludlum, county board member and committee member, made a motion to delete items number VII, 2 on the agenda. Ludlum said, “We as county board members got to be a little more careful about what we talk about in open session. I think that agenda number seven two is maybe gonna’ get into some performance and personnel issues and I’d just-a-soon not discuss them in open session. I make a motion to delete seven two from the agenda.” The motion was approved. The agenda, with changes, was then approved.
Out of Closed Session
    Two motions were made after closed session. The first motion coming out of closed session was to vacate the current Finance Manager position and refill the open Chief Financial Officer (CFO) position at the Finance Manager’s current rate of pay. The position will be posted in county for seven days, before the change is made.
    The second motion was made by Jack Wiegel, county board member and committee member, to make a change in the pharmacy. No questions were asked before the vote, the motion was approved. Homer Evanstad asked (after approval), “Are you getting a new pharmacist?” Julie Chikowski, Hospital Administrator, answered, “We’re making a change in the pharmacy and we are talking to another pharmacist.”
Staff Updates
    Hired a Nurse Practitioner, Megan Fleege, starting Oct. 1, 2017. Interviewed another nurse practitioner, Lucas Suthers, if Suthers is hired the clinic will have their mid-levels filled out. The committee approved offering Suthers the position, which starts at $90,000 plus benefits. Chikowski said, “We need one more doctor and then we should be in really good shape, we’re very excited about that.”
    A gynecologist, Alice Houpt, for the specialty clinic has accepted an offer for one day per week providing gynecology and women wellness services. The salary is $75,000 per year, pending her ability to go back into surgery. Motion made and approved.
    Hired a coder, Andrea Peterson, started July 31 and will start at the clinic and when comfortable she will be moved to the hospital.
    Have been interviewing for a certified medical assistant and nursing positions for the clinic. Kathy Kuepers said, “We have had some strong candidates, no jobs have been offered yet. Probably we will be able to fill the nursing supervisor position, we have a couple of strong candidates there.”
Business Office Update
    Chikowski reported the Respiratory Therapists are moved up to their new area. The maintenance department are working on updating the office so the business office can move to the hospital (from the clinic), hopefully within a month.
Rural Health Clinic Status
    Chikowski announced, “As of last week we were notified that we have our health provider shortage area designation. That’s huge! That’s the first step. This allows us to make an application for Rural Health Clinic status. We have initiated the application and are fully committed to providing medical services in Shullsburg, Darlington and Argyle. We will be looking at what we need to do in all of the areas and making the appropriate applications.”
Epic Update
    The hospital has four credential trainers going for six weeks of training for the Epic changeover. A lot of things have been put in place – emails, wireless, servers, computer hardware have been or will be updated.
Financial
    Molly Wiegel, Finance Manager  presented the financial report. Wiegel started with the income statement. The Memorial Hospital of Lafayette County (MHLC) year-to-date shows a loss of $121,733 which is within 7% of expected budget loss $113,745. Net revenues from services are over budget by 3% at $8,699,667 and total expenses are also over budget by 4% at $8,884,820. Wiegel said, “Everything seems to be relatively close to budget.”
    The hospitals cash is at $1,520,817 at June 30. Accounts receivable for the hospital- $4,381,041 and for the clinic - $513,492. Statistics year-to date include total joints – 14, down one from 2016; observation hours – 2,348, up 216 from 2016; swing bed day – 325, down 15 from 2016 and acute bed days – 256, down 86 for 2016.
    Primary Care Clinics summary: year-to-date – total visits 10,381, with 1,430 in June; total revenue is $1,051,258, which is 17% over budget and total expenses is $1,180,893, which is 21% over budget. Chikowski, noted that we don’t have any numbers to compare these numbers to from last year.
    Loan summery: Clinic – the hospital took out a promissory note for $1,300,000 for the clinic purchase, of the $1,300,000 the hospital has used $1,159,853 towards the purchase of the clinic and clinic related purchases and have $140,147 left to spend. Similarly, the Epic loan of $1,400,000 has $876,473 left to spend. The hospital is making quarterly ‘interest only’ payments on the loans at this time.
    In other business:
    Approved paying vouchers for June and July in the amount of $1,341,379.
    Taking bids for redoing the roof at the hospital. The budget for the roof is approximately $100,000.
    Approved overnight stays at Cedar Rapids for the training of four people for six weeks starting July 31 and at a later date for three lab employees, all for the Epic project. This will come out of the Epic budget.

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