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Additional doctors interested in clinics here

Hot Springs Health (HSH) held its June 29 board meeting and in the growth report, CEO Margie Molitor said they received their ACR accreditation. Also at the recent rodeo event, HSH was a gate sponsor. Molitor also said Dr. Hazel, an orthopedic surgeon, will hopefully start the third week of July. He is fellowship-trained in sports medicine and will replace Dr. Caldwell, working in conjunction with Dr. Francisco and Dr. Rice of Cody. 

For a building update, Molitor said they hope to have the landscaping completed by the end of July. The fireplace in the lobby is waiting for its stone, which has been back-ordered. Molitor said they are anxiously waiting for their signage to become complete.

Doctor Reed, an oncologist from Cody, is interested in potentially having a clinic here in Thermopolis. Two neurosurgeons from Cody and Powell are also interested in setting up a specialty clinic here as well. 

Molitor reported that the workforce is going to be a challenge for them the next year, noting that it is a nationwide issue. Molitor said, “It’s a call to arms not just for health care but for every line of work. People are picking up after Covid. It’s going to be a very fluid workforce. We expect it to be a challenge to recruit and maintain people.” 

Molitor added that Megan Olson has officially moved to Thermopolis. Olson was part of the Rural Residency Track program. She will start her residence with HSH on July 26. 

In the quality report, Nina Landis said their team met last week and worked on the information in their mock survey in preparation for a real survey and to make sure everyone is on the same reporting format. Their medication reconciliation reporting has reached 78% for the year to date, which is equal to their goal. For their department directors, they have their policies up to date. Additionally, their new quality goal is to work on readmissions and returns to the ER to try to reduce them. 

Dan Powell, representing the Hospital Foundation, reported that their Together We Better program now has 30 participants which is 18% of their staff population. They are aiming to increase this amount. Powell also said they are awarding $24,000 to Hot Springs Health which they raised for the mammogram equipment, $15,000 of that came from a grant from the Wyoming Breast Cancer Initiative. They also made an award of $2,500 to HSH for patient monitoring equipment. The funds came from Rocky Mountain Power Foundation. Additionally, they are holding onto $55,000 of funds that were transferred for the former Hospice Foundation and they are looking for how to apply the funds and still honor the Hospice Foundation’s mission.

Powell also reported that on July 14 there will be the WyoGives online event. Last year they raised a little over $12,000 and this year their goal is to raise more. The foundation will hold its golf tournament on August 14 to raise additional funds. The foundation has been working with the Hospital Auxiliary program in partnership in gifting new moms special nursing pillows that can also help babies to learn to sit. Powell said the response has been positive from new moms and they are looking for new funds to make it a sustainable program. This past May in conjunction with Nurses week and Hospital week, they created Foundation Fridays. In the new building’s lobby, they provided information about the Foundation and handed out ice cream treats to employees and at the clinics. Powell said that it was well-received. For some new projects, Powell said they are sponsoring some patient rooms and the honorary wall project. 

In the service report, John Gibbel said they have updated signage in multiple locations in the region. Gibbel also said their mammography ad drove more traffic than they ever had before. He said people really reacted to, “the most advanced mammography equipment in the region.” There are some improvements being made to their CT department and the next ad campaign will involve it. 

In the financial report, Shelly Larson said that in May their days in accounts receivable (AR) were at 53, which was equal to the previous month. The clinics’ AR is going down which Larson said is a positive change. Their day cash on hand went down from 175 to 171. This was because of the use of Covid money. The days cash on hand without the use of public funds are 60.43 which is important because they will start repaying grant funds that have not been utilized plus the Medicare accelerated loan funds which were received a year ago. 

The hospital board voted and passed to approve their amended budget for the current fiscal year for June 30, 2021. It was a formality to stay within compliance with the State of Wyoming statutes and the Department of Audit. Some highlights on it were their net patient revenue increased by $654,000, which is up 2.47% from the original budget. This is due to an increase in Medicare reimbursements. Their volumes were down and so were their gross revenues, however, their expenses increased by about 7%. This drives their Medicare reimbursements up. The drop in volume was Covid related. Also, their other operating revenue increased 3.43% due to receiving grant funds from their Rural Resident Training program to help cover operating costs. Larson also reported that their operating expenses increased 7% which is about $946,000. Salaries increased at 8.3% which is about $910,000 which was above the original budget. There we also increased costs for supplies and medication prescriptions to patients. 

Larson also presented an action item where the board voted to approve a new line of credit with Central Bank and Trust with an interest rate of 4.25% for a total of $1.2 million for a one-year term. Larson noted that they did not use their line of credit last year. 

In new business, the board voted to approve an action item related to call compensation with a couple of minor changes. They wanted to include shift differentials and make grammatical changes. 

 

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