Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for April 1, 2009
Hospital employees choose to cut work hours
The monthly Kane County Hospital Board of Directors meeting was held on March 19, 2009. In an effort to avoid layoffs, some employees of the Kane County Hospital chose to cut their workweek by two hours and eliminate overtime hours.
The board had a difficult decision to make in reference to cost of living increases, pay increases and medical insurance premiums. What is best for the hospital and its employees? The progressing decline in the economy and a 13% decrease in the sales tax revenue played a big factor.
The finial decision: no pay increases at this time to be revaluated at a later date. The cost to the hospital’s medical insurance plan for the employees has been increased. It was decided to pass on some of the cost to the employees by adding a 20% co-pay after the deductible was met and to increase the amount the employee must pay toward the premium depending on their individual single or family plan.
Finance Officer Stephen
Howells reported on the overall finances of the hospital. The hospital is lower than budget on revenue and also lower on expenses. Revenue from sales tax is estimated into the monthly statements but the actual monies are received months later.
Administrator Sherrie Pandya explained the problems and requirements in becoming a Critical Access Hospital (CAH). It has become a long drawn out process. The state now requires the application to be re-submitted, with a new feasibility study, etc. The intent of the Critical Access status is to allow rural communities to: preserve access to primary care and emergency health care services, provide health care services which meet community needs, and help assure the financial viability of program participants through improved reimbursement and different operating requirements. It is an important step in the overall financial stability of the hospital. Pandya stated she would complete all the necessary paperwork and re-submit as soon as possible.
Director of Nursing, Rosalie Esplin presented the Kane County Hospital Infection Control Plan for the Boards approval. According to Esplin, this is a very important part of the hospital licensure. Teresa Bischoff is the Infection Control Coordinator and will be responsible for the development and implementation of the hospital-wide Infection Control Plan that includes patients and hospital personnel. Approval granted. Vice-Chairman Ray Clark said the board realized and appreciated all the work involved in this process.
Esplin stated she developed a “skills day” for the nursing staff to assure competency of the acute care nursing staff and it worked out well.
Human Resource Director Laurali Noteman stated she would be acting as the Hospital’s representative at the Hospital Auxiliary meetings. Auxiliary President Emma Norton gave a financial report on the sales and expenses of the Thrift Shop. An effort to increase sales, and clean up the appearance of the overall operation is underway. The auxiliary would like some ideas on what to do with clothing items that have not sold over a period of time.
Noteman reported the Color County Regional Health Care Foundation is active and in good standing with the Utah Tax Commission. She will be working with Kathleen Salter and coming up with new promotional ideas.
Commissioner Daniel Hulet announced the Southwest Public Health Department has secured Community Impact Board (CIB) funding. The source of the CIB funding is the mineral lease royalties returned to the state by the federal government. Utah state statute authorizes the CIB to fund construction of public facilities. The Southwest Public Health Department will be constructed next to the Southwest Behavioral Mental Health Center building.