Hospital board updated on potential impacts of health care reform

Also at the meeting

At its regular Wednesday meeting, The Memorial Hospital Board:

• Approved, 6-0, the advancement of physicians Timothy Byers and Philip Freedman from provisional to associate staff.

• Approved, 5-0, the reappointment of physicians Scott Sulentich and Tamara Rice to the active medical staff. John Kinkaid abstained.

• Approved, 6-0, the reappointment of physician Stacy Childs to associate medical staff.

• Approved, 6-0, the reappointment of Ronald Danner to the non-physician healthcare provider staff.

• Approved, 6-0, additional privileges for Cinde Porter, PA-C.

• Approved, 6-0, a recommendation from the joint conference committee to finalize the qualifications for urology clinical privileges.

• Approved, 6-0, the proposal for Eide Bailly, a consulting firm, to review clinic operations at The Memorial Hospital.

— Board chairwoman Missy Bonaker was absent from Wednesday’s meeting.

At a Wednesday night work session, Mitch Edgeworth, regional vice president of Quorum Health Resources — The Memorial Hospital’s management company — tackled the “daunting” task of distilling the 1,000-plus-page health care reform bill into an hour-and-a-half presentation.

“The purpose of this presentation is to give you some insight into what has transpired in health care reform,” Edgeworth said.

As a preface, Edgeworth said much of the health care bill won’t impact critical-access hospitals, which is a designation TMH operates under.

However, Edgeworth said there are three aspects of the bill that will affect hospitals like TMH.

First, TMH may face an influx of newly insured patients and a shortage of providers to deal with that increase.

Second, beginning in 2013, the hospital will begin dealing with “value-based purchasing issues.”

That means a certain percentage of insurance payments to hospitals will be withheld until the hospital can prove there were positive outcomes for those procedures.

Third, Medicare is reaching insolvency, Edgeworth said.

Edgeworth said QHR is in the process of developing data assessment tools that can forecast the financial impacts of health care reform on critical-access hospitals.

He said those tools might be ready for TMH to use in early 2011.

George Rohrich, TMH chief executive officer, said he wasn’t sure what to make of the potential changes.

“We don’t know yet,” Rohrich said. “It’ll roll out slowly. There will be all the fussing and fighting, the court challenges, the political challenges…the dust is not yet settled.

“We know a few things, but not everything.”

Also at the meeting, board member Don Cook welcomed Jennifer Riley to the hospital’s executive staff.

Riley, who replaced Samantha Johnston as chief of operational excellence, began her tenure with TMH on Monday.

Comments

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