PAHCS studies facility operations, revenue sources

This article submitted by Peter Jacobson on 6/30/98.

The Paynesville Area Health Care System Board of Directors was presented with an Operational Review Findings/Implementation Plan at a special meeting held Monday, June 15. This operational review was the main item on the agenda for the regular board meeting Wednesday, June 24.

The operational review was authorized by the PAHCS Board to study the operation of the facility and suggest additional revenue sources and cost saving measures. The auditing firm of Deloitte and Touche had spent time since last winter examining the operation of every department within PAHCS.

The proposed implementation plan contained about $139,000 in net savings. The PAHCS board approved approxi-mately $111,000 in savings per year at their June 24 meeting.

A complicating factor to the implementation of the plan was the passage of a Human Services Appro-priations Bill by the 1998 Legislature. That bill was passed specifically for skilled care facilities, which includes the Koronis Manor.

The bill appropriated $8.4 million across the state for nursing home employee compensation, effective July 1, 1998. The share for Koronis Manor from this one-time appropriation figures out to be about 25 cents per hour for each employee.

The board approved a 25 cent increase for all PAHCS employees effective July 1, 1998, with the exception of the administrator and physicians. The Licensed Practical Nurses, who are under a separate union contract which expires Sept. 30, 1998, will probably receive this raise retroactive to July 1, 1998, when they negotiate their contract.

This increase in wages will cost PAHCS about $105,000, of which about $41,000 is being picked up by the state in this one-time appropriation.

The other large item in the implementation plan are the changes in coverage for speech pathology. PAHCS has contracted in the past for speech pathology services with Novacare. PAHCS has dropped the contract with Novacare, and has hired Karla Fleming, Speech/Language Pathologist on a full-time basis. The savings for this switch is $68,000. PAHCS has also recently contracted with the Belgrade Nursing Home for Physical Therapy and Speech for an additional $30,000 in revenue.

Other significant savings in the approved plan include:
ē $18,000-elimination of birthday holiday;

ē $18,000-elimination of Easter holiday;

ē $1,600-lab/radiology/outreach staff go to 40-hour week for overtime;

ē $31,000-renegotiate all service contracts;

ē $6,600-change elimination period for long-term disability plan from 30 days to 60 days;

ē $1,000-publish PAHCS board notices only in the Paynesville Press.

In other business, the board:
ē granted provisional consulting staff privileges to Brian Brindley, Radiology;

ē extended provisional period privileges to Michael Thyen, CRNA;

ē approved flexible sigmoidoscopy privileges for Randy Zimmerman, M.D.

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