Prior to the Paynesville Area Hospital Board meeting on Wednesday evening, the board members received a tour of the grounds, roof, maintenance and laundry departments.
Eugene Martinson, hospital main-tenance, explained to the board that the hospital air conditioning unit needs replacing. At present, a temporary unit is in place costing the facility about $1,300 per week to use. To replace the old unit will cost anywhere from $45,000 to $65,000. It was decided to obtain bids for a new unit.
Willie LaCroix, hospital administrator, informed the board the 1997 Medical Assistance for nursing home rates are the lowest in 10 years. The increase in the weighted average is only two percent compared to 3.65 percent last year.
The new rates go into effect Oct. 1 wtih the start of the new fiscal year. LaCroix explained that the income from the new rate wonít cover the 3.5 percent wage increase recently given the employees. ďMedical assistance program was not designed for long-term care. The system is being overburdened and should be changed,Ē he stressed.
LaCroix also stated the Department of Human Services understated the cost for care of long-term patients in Minnesota last year by eight percent which also has a negative impact on our medical assistance rates. Facilities are being asked to write their senators and representatives asking for special legislation to be passed to correct this mistake.
In other business...
ē The board reviewed and approved the changes in the employee handbook.
ē The board reviewed and approved the safety committee meeting minutes.
ē The board set Sunday, Oct. 26, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., at 700 Stearns Place, as a retirement party date for Dr. Roger and Carol Dreyling.
ēThe possibility of Munson Township and the city of Richmond joining the hospital district was discussed.
ē The medical staff recommended Dr. Patrick Malone, radiologist, and Dr. Cindy Firkins Smith, dermatologist, be appointed to the consulting staff subject to completion of their 12-month provisional period.
ē The hospital financial statement was reviewed and discussed. Revenue has increased 11 percent from last year. However, the hospital had to make adjustments downward totaling $600,000 to cover the difference between third party contract payers and the actual bill.
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