At the February 25 meeting of the Kane County Hospital Resources Special Service District Board, Chairperson Dottie Ratzlaff welcomed newly-elected member Carol Sullivan and conducted the “oath of office” ceremony.

Commissioner Daniel Hulet announced the construction of the Public Health Building is on schedule. Hulet and Hospital Administrator Sherrie Pandya discussed the possibility of placing the hospital’s bulk propane tanks on the property between the hospital employee’s parking lot and the new Public Health Building. Pandya stated more information concerning permits, etc. is needed before making a final decision.

Hospital Foundation Chairperson Kathleen Salter stated the foundation’s by-laws are in the process of being revised. Legal council has advised that certain provisions in the older version need to be adhered to before a revision can be implemented.

A meeting of the newly-formed hospital foundation board will be held March 18, 2010. The required public notice has been posted. In the older by-laws, it stipulates 20 foundation board members, paying a membership fee of $25 each, be physically present at meetings.

Administrator Pandya stated she wasn’t sure how many of the  lifetime members are left of the original board to meet that stipulation. Salter stated currently they have seven new members. A recruitment program is needed for more members with check-in-hand made out to the Color Country Regional Health Care Foundation. Salter stated once the old stipulation has been met, the by-laws could be changed, eliminating the $25 membership fee, then file the necessary Articles of Corporation, etc.

Once all the legalities are met, the foundation can proceed in accomplishing their fundraising goals. Salter thanked Human Resources Director Lauali Noteman for her patience and help with this project.

Dr. Jon Bowman, representing the medical staff, requested the re-appointment of privileges for visiting doctors that provide services to the hospital.

Administrator Pandya stated it is a requirement that the requests be reviewed every two years, first by the medical staff, then by the board. Local providers were included in the request.

Dr. Bowman informed the board of each provider by name and occupation. Approval was given for each provider individually named.

Director of Nursing Rosalie Esplin reported the need for a hospital-wide quality insurance plan for each department. Administrator Pandya stated basically it is the same policy that is currently in place, but it will be reviewed for discussion at the next board meeting.

Human Resources Director Laurali Noteman said there was a favorable response to the Radiation Exposure Screening Clinic held on February 9. There were eight actual participants, with a total of 76 phone calls received. The R.E.S Clinic will be coming to the hospital two more times in March to continue that program.

Noteman reported she has filed the necessary tax paperwork for the old non-functioning hospital foundation, bringing them up-to-date. The paperwork had not been filed since 1998, listing the foundation as a non-functioning entity. 

Noteman also reported the W2s for the employees have been distributed.

Chief Financial Officer Stephen Howells reported on the budget. Medicare payments should be received around the first of March. “Revenue wise,” Howells stated, “January was one of the better months the hospital has had in about a year, and the expenses were down.”

Howells said the board needed to make a decision about the employee’s health care program. Options include staying with United Health Care, or changing to Select Health Care, or another program. Howells stated they had budgeted an anticipated increase in costs of $80,500; the actual increase is about $225,000 yearly. Administrator Pandya stated the loss ratio is 124%.

The board members discussed developing an employees’ wellness program, and encouraging the pro-active participation by the employees and their families. Of prime importance was the employees’ understanding of the co-pay fees and benefits of the programs and managing their own medical accounts. The deadline for reply is April 1, 2010. The board will review the health care plans and come to a decision at the next meeting.

Administrator Pandya’s report.

Action items: The request to change the board meeting dates to the first Tuesday of the month, to cover the previous month’s business, was approved by the board. The meeting agenda is posted 24 hours prior to a meeting.

The need to purchase 32 new chairs for the clinic exam rooms at a cost of $3,240. The Hospital Auxiliary will be asked to fund this project.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services require the hospital board to approve the hospital policies and procedures every year. The approved 457b employee retirement plan needs to be added. The changes to the governing board, the new list of physicians, physicians assistants, nurse practitioner and area physician assistants (Fredonia Clinic) also need to be updated.

The Community Impact Board has funded the request for the helipad and the bulk oxygen tank. The approved amount of the grant is $85,000, to be put into a trust account. The hospital will put in an additional $12,000, bringing the total to $97,000. Bids will be accepted as soon as the final paperwork is signed. With an accepted bid, construction should be completed some time in April. 

The annual employee recognition dinner will be held at the hospital on March 12, 2010, which is appropriate, since it is also National Employee Recognition Day.