Texas County Memorial Hospital board members received updates regarding several ongoing projects at their monthly meeting on Tuesday.
Offutt is a board certified family medicine and obstetrics physician. He sees patients four and a half days a week at the TCMH Medical Complex in Houston and a half day a week at the TCMH Mountain Grove Clinic.
“While Dr. Offutt is growing his practice, he’s seeing some of the patients that come in to the Walk In Clinic, too,” Murray said.
Painter, a family nurse practitioner, is working in the Walk In Clinic on a part-time basis.
Renovation work inside the TCMH Medical Complex is also ongoing. Space inside the building is being reconfigured to create a centralized registration area and more patient exam rooms and healthcare provider work spaces.
“We had a minor setback when we received damaged doors for the exam rooms, so there is a little juggling for everyone to use the functioning exam rooms that are available,” Murray said.
Calling the clinic a “full house on certain days”, Murray complimented the clinic staff for maximizing the space available.
“With Dr. Offutt here we are able to accommodate more patients and keep them from having to go other places,” Dr. Jonathan Beers, TCMH chief of staff, told board members.
“Lots of people are being seen in the clinics.”
Beers noted that he and Linda Milholen, MD, general surgeon at TCMH, have already received several referrals from Offutt for endoscopy, stress testing and other procedures.
Sleep studies laboratory equipment has arrived and is being installed.
“We budgeted for the new equipment this year,” Murray said, “And under Dr. Mella’s guidance, we will use the new equipment and also increase operating hours and staffing for the sleep lab.”
Dr. Juan Mella, pulmonologist at TCMH, oversees the Sleep Studies Laboratory which is located in the Office Annex at the hospital. Mella also sees patients at the TCMH Medical Complex three days a week.
TCMH recently picked up two new Dodge Caravan minivans to use as Medivans–non-emergency transportation—at the hospital.
“The vans will replace our old Medivans, and through a transportation grant, our cost on the new vans was only 20 percent of the vans’ total cost,” Murray said.
The grant funding came through the Federal Transit Administration administered by the Missouri Department of Transportation 5317 New Freedom program which assists with public transportation projects.
The total cost of the two vans was $73,132, and TCMH paid $14,626 of that cost.
Each van is equipped with a side-entry ramp and a lowered floor to make them handicapped accessible for patients in wheelchairs. One van is configured to hold seven people, and one van is configured to hold five people.
“These vans will get much better gas mileage than our original Medivans, and patients in wheelchairs will be closer to the driver which is much more personable,” Murray said.
Murray reported that plans to put a fence around the new helipad built in front of the hospital have been stopped.
After a Missouri department of health and senior services hospital survey, DHSS inspectors told TCMH need to put a fence around the new helipad.
“We did the research and were close to purchasing the fencing material when we heard that a state law was passed stating that hospitals were simply required to provide a safe landing and takeoff zone,” Murray said, adding, “We already have a safe landing and takeoff zone in place.”
Hospital officials learned that Missouri DHSS does not have any jurisdiction over helipads.
“We have always followed Federal Aviation Administration guidelines with our helipads, and we will continue to do so,” Murray said.
TCMH had two helipads. The newest helipad was added in front of the hospital emergency department in 2013, between the hospital and highway 63. The older helipad is located on the Northwest side of the hospital between the hospital and the business office. TCMH retained the older helipad because sometimes it’s necessary for more than one helicopter to land at the hospital at one time.
Recruiting efforts for additional healthcare providers continues, according to Joleen Senter Durham, TCMH director of physician recruiting.
“We have a second site visit set up this week for a family medicine physician that is seriously considering the Mountain Grove clinic opportunity,” Durham said.
Durham also reported that she has a date set for a general surgeon to visit in late August.
A family medicine resident from the CoxHealth residency program in Springfield has submitted credentialing information to the hospital with hopes of providing some emergency department physician coverage.
“I am in contact with two physicians that are currently in residency that have ties to our area, too,” Durham said.
Linda Pamperien, TCMH chief financial officer, presented the financial report for the month of June.
In June the TCMH emergency department was again heavily utilized by patients without an ability to pay. Sixty-five percent of $505,272.89 in bad debt for the month of June was generated by emergency department patients
“Inpatient and outpatient volumes were down during the month of June, and there were increased outpatient volumes,” Pamperien reported.
TCMH ended the month of June with a negative bottom line of $205,687 and a negative year-to-date bottom line of $379,613.69.
Pamperien is hopeful that the addition of Offutt’s practice will increase inpatient and outpatient revenues. She noted that the hospital census in July has been up.
Present at the meeting were Murray; Pamperien; Beers; Durham; Doretta Todd-Willis, chief nursing officer; Amanda Turpin, quality assurance manager; Ron Prenger, CoxHealth representative, and board members, Dr. Jim Perry, OD; Mark Hampton; Omanez Fockler, and Janet Wiseman.
Russell Gaither, TCMH board member, was not present at the meeting.
The next meeting of the TCMH board of trustees is Tue., August 23 at 12 p.m. in the hospital board room.