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Hermann Area District Hospital Board of Director's November 2019 Meeting Recap

November 25, 2019

Hermann Area District Hospital

Board Recap

For November 25, 2019

The Board reviewed statistics and financial reports for 2019.  Patient activity continues to be higher than in 2018, which is reflected in the financials.  Hospital staff is working to resolve a problem with our computer system, Cerner, it is not appropriately categorizing financial data so the current financials were not presented.  Even without the current month financials, year-to-date projections still show a positive margin with revenue up and salary and benefits are down by one million dollars.  The Board also reviewed the projected budget for 2020.  While the projections for 2020 budget are positive, administration and the board are concerned with another year of not being able to include in the budget a pay increase for employees.  This is unfortunately, but the government still has disparities in the lessor amount that is paid to lower volume rural hospitals like ours.

While patient visits are up in all the clinics, efforts have been heightened to recruit another doctor to work in Hermann.  Providers and clinic staff are working hard as evidenced by a good report back from United Healthcare regarding assessments being done on Medicare Advantage members, positive patient satisfaction surveys, and positive articles in both the Hermann and Montgomery City newspapers.

The Board reviewed guidance from the Missouri Department of Health regarding the recently enacted medical marijuana laws.  Consumption of medial cannabis by patients on hospital property would be deemed as violating the federal Controlled Substance Act thus jeopardizing the hospital from certifying compliance with federal health care laws and could have consequences with Medicare reimbursement. 

The Board reviewed the operations of the Home Health services provided by the hospital.  While excellent services are provided, Medicare is changing how they reimburse for the services.  The upcoming reductions in payments will add to the struggle of the hospital financially supporting the services.

The Board approved the following agreements.  The Board entered into two no direct cost agreements, one with a college to allow a nursing student to shadow our nurse practitioners and the other with the federal organization, Livanta, to do mandated reviews of patients that we notify can no longer stay in the hospital under Medicare due to meeting their full potential to recover.  The Board agreed to work with New Haven and Heartland Hospices to allow their patients to be admitted to our hospital for necessary services under hospice rules.  The computer servers had reached their end of life cycle and needed replacing however we were able to reduce the number of servers down from seven to five since the hospital started using Cerner.  There is no longer the need for as many computer servers since our electronic medical records are stored at Cerner’s offices in Kansas City.  The hospital is mandated to do some employee education electronically and had to update those classes to include Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) modules. Lastly, to better accommodate services in the cafeteria, the Board authorized the purchase of a software program to manage cafeteria sales.

 The Board went to executive session to discuss personnel issues and legal action.  The Board made no decision in executive session so adjourned upon returning to open session.