The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Michele Smith
the Times 

Report from the January Columbia County Health System board of commissioners meeting


January 30, 2020

DAYTON—The Columbia County Health System (CCHS) board of commissioners began their January meeting with a few changes. Wes Leid is now the President of the Commission, taking over from Bob Hutchens. Jim Kime was appointed by the board to fill the remainder of Ken Dyball’s term in District 3. Dyball has resigned from the board, but his term won’t expire until Dec. 31, 2020.

This first meeting was a busy one, lasting over two hours.

During the meeting the commissioners finalized their monthly calendar. They also noted the upcoming board retreat, which will be held at the Best Western Plus Dayton Hotel and Conference Center, on April 30.

They heard reports from Dr. Kurt Frauenpreis, Chief of Staff, from Janet Ihle about the two-year Quality Improvement Plan, from Laura Stevens, Human Resources Manager about plans to interview three candidates for the Chief Operating Officer position, and they heard Controller Tom Meyers’ unaudited financial report for December, along with reports on warrants, payroll, accounts payable and the bad debt write off.

They then approved a request from CEO Shane McGuire allowing for the purchase of a new $16,000 software system, to allow for paperless functions.

McGuire provided the commissioners with his report, discussing cash flow and financial statements.

He said issues with coding and holiday delays impacted December financial numbers, but patient volumes were strong.

“We set a record for Emergency Department volumes at 203,” he said.

He said this is the first time in ten years that CCHS has had the ability to pay Medicare the $883,000 it was owed and to pay for a $100,000 roofing repair and still come out in good shape, all because Finance Manager Matt Minor and the finance team have done a good job of managing accounts payable.

McGuire said the amount of money that is owed CCHS for swing bed care by several Managed Care Organizations is going to require tough measures. He said he will talk to state legislators about the problem. An attorney may need to be brought on board, he said. The total amount owed CCHS is $1.2 million.

The revenue cycle team continues to find ‘charge capture’ (or billing) opportunities for services that aren’t being billed. For instance, the team found charges for insulin, but no charges for diabetic testing for one of their patients.

“They usually are discovered by looking through claim denials, or auditing of paid claims, or looking for missing charges,” he said. “I look at these as victories.”

McGuire said having two two-year students from the Elson S. Floyd School of Medicine on the CCHS campus shadowing hospital staff, was successful, and four-year students are being considered in the future.

Garfield Public Hospital District administrators and staff recently met with CCHS administrators and staff to discuss partnering for outpatient services.

Advertisements have gone out to the small works roster in anticipation of selecting an architect for the dental clinic project.

The commissioners applauded McGuire for achieving a required education goal, which was a condition of his employment as Chief Executive Officer at CCHS. McGuire completed a B.S in Health Information Management in December.


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