Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for August 26, 2009
Kane County Hospital updates website
At the August 20, 2009 Public Meeting of the Hospital Governing Board, Human Resources Director Laurali Noteman informed the board the hospital website had not been utilized to its full potential. In an effort to improve communications between the public and hospital employees the website is in the process of being updated. Information concerning services offered by the hospital, the clinic, the doctors on site and dates of visiting doctors will now be available on the website.
There is an employee’s recognition section and newsletter. Photos can be attached to the articles. Noteman is requesting the Health Department include her department in their news bulletins/announcements so information can be posted directly to the hospital website. The employees can access a folder titled “Everyone” where they can get agendas, board minutes etc. Patient “thank you notes” will be posted for all to see. Visit www. KaneCountyHospital.net or kchsop.net.
Noteman reported Western Legend Roundup would be used as a communication drill to see how communications can be improved within the county in case of emergency or a disaster utilizing the community’s H.A.M. radio operators. Training is provided for anyone who is interested in taking part.
Dr. Ott, presenting the medical staff business, said Dr. David Salter has applied to the Medical Staff for a review and approval in performing specific surgical privileges. The Medical Staff and the board approved the application based upon Salter’s credentials and creditability.
The Governing board reached a unanimous decision to accept the proposal of the investment firm of Edward T. Jones as financial advisors to the hospital’s 457 Employee Retirement Plan.
Corporate Finance Officer Stephen Howells reported revenue is down but so are expenses. Howells stated long-term Medicaid payments for June were not paid until August, which makes a difference in the daily revenue statistics.
Member Shayne Ramsay asked for a more specific breakdown of revenue, salaries, benefits, allowances, and deductions to be done as part of the financial statement.
Howells said a request for the Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payment for the last quarter of 2008 and the first two quarters of 2009 has been submitted. This program helps preserve access to care for Medicare and low-income patients by providing financial assistance to the hospitals they use. He said payment should come in by the end of August. The amount of $26,000 monthly is expected to be slightly lower than budgeted. Becoming a Critical Access Hospital will provide a more favorable reimbursement. Utah State surveys are still in process. Howells is creating a “de-facto” policy and an accounting manual and asked the board to review the draft making any necessary changes. He expressed the need for this to be a part of the minutes.
An outside auditing company did a cost report indicating the hospital could pursue some lost revenue and suggested an extensive operational review. Howells asked the board to approve the cost of the project up to $7,500. Chad Szymanzki, representing the Governing Board Finance Committee stated it was a worthwhile project and could be beneficial to the hospital. Member Ray Clark said this would be necessary if and when the hospital would go to a computer friendly system.
Szymanzki suggested after becoming a Critical Access Hospital it might be a good idea to have this type of review done annually or semi annually. Howells said it is all part of the cost of doing business. The audit results will be scheduled for the next agenda. Szymanzki voiced his concern with the cost of the pending Utah Retirement Board Hearing and possible methods of amending the budget.
In the absence of Administrator Sherrie Pandya, Howells gave the administrative report. On August 19, the state did a Critical Access survey. The hospital passed with no deficiencies. It was an important part in achieving the goal of becoming a Critical Access Hospital. A required safety survey will be done the end of the month. The state will continue to do surveys on an annual basis.
Ray Clark expressed his and the board’s appreciation to the staff for all the hard work in preparation for obtaining the Critical Access status.
Howells stated the Utah State Retirement Board has given the hospital a notice of Board action. Hospital Attorney Robbins explained they are asking their own Human Officer to conduct a hearing on the question of whether the hospital should have participated in the system and due to the fact the hospital did not, just what the consequences would be. He stated this is a major point to be discussed in a Governing Board closed session.
The long-term strategic plan of the hospital is to research and obtain any available grants.
EMT Stuart Willoughby was seeking approval to use the $20,000 the state granted to the EMT Department towards the purchase of a used truck, which would be used by the department to transport the mobile medical unit and equipment to the outlining areas of Cedar Mountain, Big Water and Orderville. The board asked him to submit bids.
Due to scheduling conflicts, the next Governing Board Meeting will be September 10, 2009.