TMH board meeting shows services, profits up in July | CraigDailyPress.com

TMH board meeting shows services, profits up in July

Sasha Nelson/For the Craig Daily Press







— Patient numbers and revenue rose in July at The Memorial Hospital, according to reports provided to the Board of Trustees at its monthly meeting Thursday. TMH has served 107 more patients in 2014 than it did at this time last year.

The mix of patients has changed with the hospital serving far fewer charitable cases and a far greater number of patients on Medicaid.

"I think this is the first time to report positive figures in our gross patient revenue," said Denise Arola, who is the hospital controller.

"I think this represents a significant positive impact and seems to reflect the national trend of previously uninsured now on Medicaid," said Bill Donatelli, who is the vice president of western operations for Quorum Health Resources, the hospital's management company.

While charitable cases were down, charitable giving was up with more than $90,000 in grants and donations received by the hospital in July.

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Patient numbers are expected to continue to rise through the end of the year due in part to expected increases in birth rates and new services to be provided by new doctors.

"Get ready, they are coming," Arola said when discussing the expected rise in obstetrical deliveries.

TMH doctors agreed.

"We expect to finish the year strong," said Dr. Scott Ellis, who is the chief medical officer for the hospital.

The board took steps to increase area obstetrical options by paving the way for Dr. Elise Sullivan, who is a new family practice doctor to have OB privileges at the hospital.

"This measure will allow her to provide non-surgical obstetrical services including birth to her patients," Dr. Ellis said. "Dr. Sullivan will fill an important niche."

The news was welcomed.

"I'm in favor of allowing this and think it might be a good time to consider a review of the criteria we use to decide when privileges for certain departments are either open or closed," Trustee Don Myers said.

The board directed the staff to follow up on the issue and report back in the next 60 days.

Almost $100,000 in capital purchases and leases was approved by the board, including the approval of new sterilization equipment, renewal of the X-ray service contract, a new humidity monitor and new website filtering software and services.

"The sterilization equipment will provide redundancy and allow decreased turnaround time for the emergency room," said Chris Kalinowski, the interim chief nursing officer.

The other purchases will provide important maintenance services for X-rays and Internet.

"The humidity monitor was not originally in the budget; however, it will allow for better monitoring to assist facilities engineers," Arola said.

The board also approved several minutes of meeting on their consent agenda, increased medical privileges for a number of staff, approved updates to the Family Medicine Privileges policy and updated the Medical Staff Bylaws before adjourning to executive session.

The next TMH Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Oct. 2 at the hospital. Meetings are open to the public, with an opportunity to address the board right after the meeting is called to order.