Texas County Memorial Hospital building
Texas County Memorial Hospital Credit: FILE PHOTO

In Texas County 1,588 people now qualify for healthcare services through Medicaid expansion, Texas County Memorial Hospital board members heard at their monthly meeting on Tuesday.

Linda Pamperien, TCMH chief financial officer, shared Medicaid expansion information available to TCMH through the State of Missouri. She explained that expansion will allow an adult between the ages of 19 to 64, earning $30,305 annually in a family of three to qualify.  

“We are encouraging our self-pay patients to submit an application to see if they qualify under the expansion,” Pamperien said. “If they qualify, they will be able to get their bill paid under the new guidelines.”

According to Pamperien, multiple TCMH employees are in the process of receiving their certification for the live application system through the State of Missouri’s Medicaid program.  Once the TCMH employees are certified, they will be able to assist uninsured individuals in the area that need help with the application process.

TCMH is waiting on the state for additional information. According to Pamperien, patients that benefit from the expanded healthcare coverage will be able to receive retroactive coverage if needed.

In the administrative report, Chris Strickland, TCMH chief executive officer, discussed the current healthcare staffing issues at TCMH.  

“We need staffing in many areas of the hospital,” Strickland said, citing vacancies in nursing, maintenance, medical records, registration, radiology, EMS and physical therapy.

“These shortages have mainly been a result of COVID,” Strickland explained. “However, it is not only our hospital that is encountering this problem; it’s a nationwide problem.”

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt visited TCMH on Oct. 14. Strickland and Pamperien discussed hospital staffing and the hospital’s 340B prescription drug program, and Medicare Advantage plans with Blunt.

“Overall, the meeting with Sen. Blunt went very well,” Strickland said. “He was very supportive of TCMH and the progress we are working towards for the future of our hospital.”

For September, Pamperien reported that inpatient and outpatient revenues were up, and expenses were down.

The contractual adjustments at TCMH — the difference between the charge for care and what is paid — remains high for the month due to the increase of COVID patients. Patients receiving care due to COVID experience a more expensive and a longer stay which increases contractual adjustments.

“With the increase in contractual adjustments again this month, the hospital ended the month of September with a negative bottom line of $233,193 and a year-to-date loss of $927,893,” Pamperien said.

Jeff Gettys, TCMH Healthcare Foundation director, attended the meeting to highlight recent activities by the healthcare foundation.

“Currently the healthcare foundation is raising funds for TCMH Hospice of Care through a utility vehicle raffle and an online auction Nov. 21to 30,” Gettys said.

According to Gettys, two $1,000 scholarships will be awarded by the healthcare foundation this spring.

“Applications for the scholarships will be open Nov. 15, and the foundation board will review applications to determine the recipients,” Gettys Said.

The board also heard that plans to re-open the TCMH Auxiliary Gift Shop on Dec. 1 are underway. The shop was shuttered due to COVID in the spring of 2019.

Present at the meeting were Pamperien; Strickland; Gettys; Helania Wulff, director of public relations; Amanda Turpin, chief nursing officer; Courtney Owens, quality director; Jonathan Beers, DO, chief of staff; Renina Pearce, medical staff coordinator; board members, Dr. Jim Perry, OD; Allan Branstetter; Jay Loveland; Joleen Durham; and Steve Pierce.

The next meeting of the TCMH board of trustees is noon Tuesday, Nov. 23, in the Jayson Gentry Community Safe Room.  Due to COVID-19 and social distancing restrictions, persons may attend the meeting via teleconference.  To attend the meeting via teleconference, call 417-967-1236 and to be placed into the teleconference meeting.

Texas county memorial hospital

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