The Copper Basin Medical Center District Board members discussed differences in the new ER contract compared to the old, accounts receivables, and revenues during their August meeting. CEO Anna Clark told the board revenues were increasing, and that collections for private pay had increased three times. Clark said she ran a report on the amount the hospital collected from professional fees for a year with the old ER contract. Questions had previously been raised about whether or not the new contract would end up costing the hospital money because the new ER group would be responsible for collecting their own professional fees.
Clark said it had been stated that they would lose $100,000 by not collecting the fees, but she did not know where that number came from. She said of the $408,000 collected during a one-year time frame, $208,000 was actually for deductibles and other fees. Clark said the hospital was saving about $11,000 per month with the new contract. According to Clark, comparing the amounts of professional fees actually collected to the cheaper hourly rate of the new ER doctors, the hospital is coming out ahead. The old contract was for $135/hour with the hospital collecting professional fees; the new contract is $69/hour with ER doctors collecting their own fees. Jack Collins said he thought they would have done well on the old contract if it had been done right. Clark said she hoped better documentation would help them get paid better.
Mitchell Hicks said there were no real numbers on either side. He pointed out that Doug Collins had previously told the paper they would save about $400,000 and now Clark was saying it was about $100,000. Clark said the other side was wrong about their estimates, too. She said she hoped they would have good data at the end of the month. Frank Shinpaugh asked if the $11,000 a month would cover a loan payment. Clark said it was close, and that the loan payment was $14,000. She said this month’s payment related to a CT scanner was the last one, which freed up an additional $3900 a month.
Hicks asked if transfers were down and how many patients were being seen. He said he was hearing from people at Fannin Regional that they were getting our patients. Clark said they were seeing an increase in July over June, and that August would be an increase over July. Carina Walker said she could start providing practitioners reports so the board could see how many were being treated. Jack Collins said the decline took a long time to happen and it would take a while to build back up.
Clark said there was $5.7 million in accounts receivables. She said that was good because they were at $7 million at one time. Clark said there was still some old stuff and they were trying to weed through it. She said $1.6 million was charged in July and $1.4 million was collected, adding that things are slower in summer months. She said their target was $3 million. According to Clark, private pay collections had improved by three times. Hicks asked how that was done. Clark said statements were not consistent before and were now.
Clark also reported they should have the audits from the CPAs this month and would be able to pay for it with Medicaid reimbursement money. Hicks asked if that was something Erlanger was waiting for. Clark said the firm they hired had already collected enough information to do a summary and that if Erlanger wanted to continue the process they would contact the hospital.
Collins asked if they were going to vote on the ER contract. He said if they did not vote on it, it was not a contract. Doug Collins said he would like to put it behind them so they could focus on more important things.
Hicks said he was not in favor of voting on any contract until the last contract was paid. He said they still owed Dr. Siddiqui. Jack Collins said it was in the minutes that Siddiqui would be paid. He made a motion to accept the ER contract for two years.
Shinpaugh asked if they should put it in a motion to pay Dr. Siddiqui. He said that would make it official. All members voted yes. Hicks said with that motion being done, he would vote yes on the new contract, adding he just felt it was bad business to give out a contract when they hadn’t fulfilled the other one.
Carina Walker updated the board on changes made to the bylaws, which included mostly updates to wording and procedures. She said the state and joint commission would want to see there was a process and standard for board members.
Walker said the board might need to consider increasing members to nine in order to meet specific requirements for certain grants. Clark said they had missed out on a grant opportunity because they did not have all the policies asked for. Walker suggested looking at the bylaws yearly to make updates or corrections.