by Carol Bridge
RATON — During the regular board meeting of the Miners Colfax Medical Center on July 20, CEO Bo Beames introduced Tom Hay and congratulated him for receiving recognition at the recent program of remembrance of the Ludlow Massacre. The plaque presented to Hay, in thanks for his service, was granted to him by the United Mine Workers of America, The Ludlow Monument Site, and the Southern Colorado Coal Miners’ Memorial and Scholarship Fund Organization. The MCMC board also thanked Hay for his contributions to the miners of the area as demonstrated by his contribution to the sculpture at the front of the hospital. Richard Cardenas, visitor, praised Beames for taking an interest in the community and attending the Ludlow ceremony with Hay.
Lonny Medina, CPA and CFO, gave the financial report. Medina is the new Chief Financial Officer of the hospital, and has strong ties to the community. The statistics were presented as month to date, MTD and year to date, YTD and were as follows: inpatient, MTD 64 YTD 818. Outpatient, MTD 661 YTD 8,308. ER, MTD 460 YTD 5,808. Patient days, MTD 329 YTD 3,791. There were 4 births for the month and 103 so far for the year. Last year at this time the hospital had billed out $40 million and this year, at the same time, $45 million has been billed out that shows a healthy increase in billed services. The ‘comfort zone’ (time that the hospital could remain in business with NO new reimbursement now stands at 57 days. The goal of the hospital is to extend this ‘comfort zone’ and to this end a private firm will be used to improve the revenue cycle (the time lapse between the service provided and payment from insurance), making the hospital financially stronger. Payments from both Medicaid and Medicare are now being based on ‘quality of care’ instead of a simple ‘fee for service’ so that it is imperative to be able to effectively use the new criteria in coding and billing.
Dr. Donald Belknap, physician representative, gave an update on new appointments and reappointments of physicians (cardiologist, pathologist, ER resident and OBGYN) and and a certified registered nurse anesthesiologist (CRNA). Dr. Douglas Schmidt, medical director, said that the peer review system is organized and operating to better monitor physician performance.
Barbara Duran, HR, gave an update on her recruiting activities and progress towards minimizing the hospital’s reliance on agency contractors. Addressing staffing shortages, Beames explained that some staff of MCMC and the Long Term Care facility are now combined and shaped into department ‘teams’ that will be cross trained to work in either place which will make the work staff more flexible and effective.
Director of Operations Eric Armstrong gave an update on the new construction at the clinic and spoke briefly about the Black Lung program.
Visitor, resident and guest Tom Hays addressed the board with his concerns of staff salaries not being competitive to other facilities and that it caused a great deal of turnover at the long term care facility. Chairperson Kathy McQueary reassured Hay that this problem is being addressed with state legislators and that soon the hospital will be able to offer larger salaries.