Texas County Memorial Hospital ended the year with increased patient volumes and increased revenue for the third year in a row, board members heard at last week’s monthly meeting.

Wes Murray, TCMH chief executive officer, and Linda Pamperien, TCMH chief financial officer, presented a positive picture for the hospital at the end of 2017.

“We have progressively made improvements over the past three years with growth in inpatient, outpatient and swing bed volumes,” Pamperien said.

TCMH was up 80 inpatient admissions in 2017 — seven percent growth for the year. Outpatient volumes were up 10 percent and swing bed volumes were up 12 percent.

Pamperien said revenues were up for the hospital’s contract 340b pharmacy program that provided discounted prescription drugs for patients using TCMH healthcare providers.

“Dr. Mella has also helped us to increase our volumes in the Sleep Studies Laboratory, and we generated $137,000 in our new Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Clinic,” Pamperien said.

Pamperien said hospital expenses rose 3.5 percent in 2017.

“Our staff did an excellent job maintaining our expenses as we grow,” Pamperien said.

With depreciation on the hospital addition and related new equipment, TCMH will end 2017 in the red. The final financial picture for the year will be complete after the 2017 financial audit. Auditors will be on site in March, and audit results will be presented at the April board meeting.

“Our physicians continue to do an excellent job managing their inpatients and referring outpatient services to TCMH whenever possible,” Murray said. “Times are tough for rural hospitals, but we are managing to keep moving forward despite the forces working against us.”

NEW PHYSICIAN SIGNS

Murray reported that Jose Atiles, MD, a family medicine physician from West Plains, has signed a contract to begin working full-time at the TCMH Mountain Grove Clinic in February. He replaces Jennifer Groner, DO, who resigned to return to teaching in Kansas City.

Murray said Atiles has been in practice in the Ozarks for many years as an emergency room physician and in private practice. He will see patients on an outpatient basis at the Mountain Grove Clinic, referring to TCMH physicians for inpatient services.

“I believe Dr. Atiles will have a solid referral pattern to our physicians and ancillary service departments, and he will be a good fit for us,” Murray said.

Atiles will join Sara Openshaw, FNP, who also works full-time at the clinic and Tracey Arwood, CNM, who provides women’s health and obstetrics services two days a week at the clinic.

QUALITY WORK

Amanda Turpin, quality management director at TCMH, presented finalized quality assurance and process improvement reports for all TCMH departments involved in quarterly reporting.

“I’m pleased to say that every department has completed their reports for the past year, so we are compliant with CMS [Center for Medicare Services] regulations,” Turpin said.

Turpin also provided the 2018 quality assurance reporting plans and goals for each hospital department. Turpin said some of the plans and/or goals remain the same because the affected department continues to gather data about the same thing as in the past.

New quality work in 2018 includes the hospital clinics working on antibiotic stewardship, the lab and obstetrics departments working on improving times involved in reporting newborn tests to the state, and the lab and the emergency departments working on improving turnaround times.

“You do an awesome job with collecting, compiling and reporting this data to us,” said TCMH board member Janet Wiseman, who is responsible for similar reporting in her position at Houston House, the long-term care facility where she is employed.

COX CONNECTION

Murray shared thanks from Cox College of Nursing in Springfield for providing support of the school in pursuing a $2.2 million grant to expand the college facilities and nursing student enrollment. Cox College sought the grant in 2017.

“Cox College received this grant, and it should be a benefit to all area healthcare facilities,” Murray said.

Murray said Cox College is the only area nursing school currently expanding enrollment numbers.

TCMH has been talking with an infectious disease physician from CoxHealth in Springfield about providing services to area patient via telehealth.

“Currently we are looking at the possibility of a half day a month,” Murray said.

According to Murray, the physician would also be willing to work with TCMH pharmacists and staff on antibiotic stewardship efforts at the hospital in addition to patient care.

FINANCIAL REPORT

Inpatient and outpatient volumes were up at the hospital in December, according to Pamperien’s financial report. TCMH ended the month of December with a positive bottom line of $71,551.54 and negative year-to-date balance of $772,547.78.

Present at the meeting were Murray; Pamperien; Turpin; Doretta Todd-Willis, chief nursing officer; Dr. Jonathan Beers, chief of staff; Rachel Davis, director of public relations; Joleen Senter Durham, former direction of public relations; William Mahoney, CoxHealth representative; and board members, Wiseman, Dr. Jim Perry, OD, and Jay Loveland.

Board members Omanez Fockler and Mark Hampton were not present at the meeting.

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