Texas County Memorial Hospital began offering monoclonal antibody infusions to patients on Sept. 15, hospital board members and administration heard at their monthly meeting recently.
Amanda Turpin, chief nursing officer at TCMH, said the monoclonal infusions are going well and the state issued a standing order for anyone that had tested positive for COVID or had high-risk exposure to be eligible.
“We are very happy to offer this service to benefit our patients and community,” Turpin said. “In just four days, we have administered 31 infusions.”
She added, “The good news is that we have not had any patients who have received the infusion at our hospital be hospitalized with COVID.”
The infusion takes approximately an hour. She noted after receiving the infusion, patients will need to wait at least 90 days to receive the COVID vaccine.
Infusions are available from 8 a.m. until noon every Wednesday and Friday. If eligible, residents can call 417-967-0404 for an appointment.
Linda Pamperien, chief financial officer at TCMH, presented the financial report for August.
Overall revenues were up by $1,520,605 for the month, which is a 23.52 percent increase from budgeted expectations, she said. Inpatient volumes increased 78.8 percent, up by almost $1.1 million.
Pamperien said outpatient revenue was up again at $498,261 for the month. The Emergency Room continues to experience significant increases due to COVID, along with laboratory department.
She said that the contractual adjustments were up this month at 69 percent for the month and 63.9 percent year-to-date.
“This trend continues as our COVID patients increase due to more expensive and longer stays,” Pamperien noted. “We have been averaging 10-13 COVID patients per day, which is a significant increase.”
“Our overall expenses are also up from our budgeted expectations this month by $37,715,” Pamperien said. “Due to the increase in COVID patient volume, our COVID expense was up $141,168.”
“Most of the increase in expenses is related to utilizing expensive medications on our COVID patients to ensure the best quality care possible,” Pamperien said. “In just two months we spent $430,000 just on COVID medication.”
“The hospital ended the month of August with a negative bottom line of $365,238 and year-to-date with a loss of $694,700.” Pamperien said. “The huge increase in our contractual adjustments affected these results greatly.”
Bad debt for August was $564,872.
These reports were also given:
•CEO Chris Strickland said the hospital is continuing its search for a permanent location for the Licking ambulance base.
•Courtney Owens, quality management director, discussed recent Press Ganey survey scores. “We improved in 16 areas and were down slightly in 10 areas,” Owens noted. “We are happy to see better customer service as we are implementing new policies and procedures.” She said ER patient satisfaction surveys are starting to flow in. She said patient comments aren’t yet available, but the hospital is seeing improved rankings. “Our highest ER ranking recorded in this data was in the 71st percentile,” Owens said.
• Helania Wulff, director of public relations, discussed physician recruitment efforts. She said a potential general surgeon candidate is coming for a tour. “We are continuing our connections with the physicians we visited in Wichita last month,” Wulff noted. “There is great recruitment potential with them, and we are looking forward to their visit in the near future.”
• Strickland reported that COVID numbers are decreasing for Texas County. “The ICU bed occupancy in Missouri is trending downward from 89 percent to 83 percent.” He said that will aid TCMH to transfer patients much easier when the need arises.
He discussed the COVID Pfizer booster vaccine that has been approved for those who meet certain criteria.
“Anyone in healthcare that previously received the Pfizer vaccine will now be able to receive the booster,” Strickland stated. “However, the booster for Moderna has not yet been approved.”
•Strickland said a new MRI is in the process of being installed and should be completed within six weeks. “We currently have a MRI mobile unit on site to continue offering these services to our community until completion of our new Canon MRI,” he said.
•Strickland highlighted community involvement in area schools. The hospital provided yard signs in support of local schools, T-shirts for cheerleaders to throw out at games and sponsorship of student entry into games.
•A new digital sign has been installed in front of the hospital. “We are pleased to be able to offer this improvement through a SHIP (Small Hospital Improvement Program) grant along with insurance money,” Strickland said. “We will now be able to share important messaging with our community.” A new generator also is being install.
Strickland discussed a Missouri Hospital Association sponsored federal advocacy trip to Washington, D.C., that he attended along with Dr. Jonathan Beers.
“The focus of the meetings was centered around rural healthcare,” Strickland said. “We had discussions with representatives and senators around several programs including the 340B, vaccine mandate and the Medicare Advantage plan to name a few.”
Strickland mentioned there will be follow up meetings and calls scheduled with U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, State Sen. Karla Eslinger and State Rep. Bennie Cook.
Strickland noted the Bass and BBQ event to benefit Hospice of Care was held at the Pierce pavilion Sept. 18 and was a huge success.
“There was over $5,500 raised for hospice,” Strickland said. “We extend a heartfelt thanks to Steve and Diane Pierce and everyone that helped or came out to support this great event.”
Present at the meeting were Linda Pamperien, chief financial officer; Helania Wulff, director of public relations; Amanda Turpin, chief nursing officer; Courtney Owens, quality director; Chris Strickland, chief executive officer; Jonathan Beers, DO, chief of staff; Renina Pearce, medical staff coordinator; board members, Dr. Jim Perry, DO; Allan Branstetter; Jay Loveland; Joleen Durham; and Steve Pierce.
The next meeting of the TCMH board of trustees is noon Tuesday, Oct. 26, in the Jayson Gentry Community Safe Room. Due to COVID-19 and social distancing restrictions, persons may attend the meeting via teleconference. To attend, call 417-967-1236 to be placed into the teleconference meeting.