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CARES funding to provide radiology equipment at TCMH


Texas County Memorial Hospital has received final regulations on the guidelines to utilize the CARES funding hospital board members and administration heard at their monthly meeting on Tuesday.

“We have placed an order for two new ultrasound machines, computed tomography (CT) machine, portable X-ray, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI),” Mr. Chris Strickland, chief executive officer at TCMH, said. “This new equipment will provide us with the latest and greatest in technology.”

“The CT comes with special software especially for lung and cardiac,” Ms. Linda Pamperien, chief financial officer, said. “Having this equipment will give us the ability to do more acute needs, along with caring for COVID patients that have long term effects.”

Ms. Pamperien mentioned that the CT will allow us to do more intense lung scans that we were not able to do before with our older equipment.

Ms. Pamperien further noted that the ultrasounds will be used to check for blood clots in COVID patients. 

Mr. Strickland mentioned that the CARES funds are required to be used by June 30, 2021 since the hospital received the funds prior to June 30, 2020.

“We are replacing our current MRI with an Orion from Canon,” Mr. Strickland stated. “We are moving from a 55 centimeter bore to a 71 centimeter bore with all new software that will allow us the most advanced technology.”

Ms. Linda Pamperien, chief financial officer at TCMH, presented the financial report for the month of May. 

“Overall revenues were up by $16,676 for the month, which is a 0.25 percent increase from our budgeted expectations,” Pamperien said.

“We had a 20.5% decline in our inpatient volumes as we were down by $283,829.”

Ms. Pamperien mentioned outpatient revenue was up again at $288,538 for the month.  The Emergency Room is where we are continuing to see an increase, which directly contributes to increases in our outpatient areas such as radiology and lab.    

Bad debt for the month of May was $288,834.95.

Ms. Pamperien noted that the contractual adjustments were a little higher this month at 67.8% for the month and 64.3% year to date.

“The hospital ended the month of May with a negative bottom line of $205,050 and year-to-date with a negative bottom line of $669,253.” Ms. Pamperien said. “The increase in our contractual adjustments affected these results.”

“Our other revenues were up from our budgeted expectations this month by $1,352,963,” Ms. Pamperien mentioned. “This year remains unusual with one-time only items budgeted in this category.”

Ms. Pamperien noted that the increase in our other revenues in May was the result of $1.6 million in funding that we received for our roofing insurance claim.

In old business, Mr. Strickland mentioned the PPP Loan of $2.2 million was forgiven by the SBA.

In new business, Ms. Courtney Owens, quality management director, mentioned that the Medicare Spending per Beneficiary (MSPB) scores have been released. These scores access the cost of services immediately prior to, during, and following a beneficiary’s hospital stay.  The goal is to be less than one.

“A snapshot of data was captured from July 1 through December 31, 2020,” Ms. Owens said. “We ended with a MSPB score of 1.03 with a comparison to the state average of .98 and national average of .99.”

Ms. Owens mentioned when the calculation of risk adjustments was added in, our number got inflated.  She noted we have done well, but there is always room for improvement.

Ms. Helania Wulff, director of public relations, mentioned our physician recruitment efforts are ongoing with virtual recruiting events and continuous searches. 

Mr. Strickland stated that Missouri is the number one state in the United States with a COVID uprise, especially Southwest Missouri. 

“The drastic increase in positive COVID cases is directly related to our vaccination rates being extremely low in Missouri.”  Mr. Strickland said.

“TCMH has had 166 COVID positive inpatients since July 31 of last year,” Ms. Owens said. “This number includes seven for the month of May, and 10 for June already.” 

“During the month of May, we ran 261 COVID tests in house with 25 positive results giving us a positivity rate of 9.6 percent,” Ms. Owens mentioned.  “During the first 10 days of June, we already ran 83 COVID tests with 27 positive results giving us a positivity rate of 33%.”

Ms. Owens further mentioned that Missouri’s current positivity rate is at 5.1% with Texas County’s positivity rate at 8.6%.

“For our employees only, we have had 13 positive cases for the month so far,” Ms. Owens said. “And 3 of them have been hospitalized.”

Mr. Strickland mentioned we are in the process of obtaining a new digital sign to be installed in front of the hospital to replace the damaged sign.  Ms. Pamperien noted that the expense of the sign should be covered with the SHIP grant we will be receiving along with the damage insurance.  Mr. Strickland mentioned we are still in the process of researching our options to build a new Ambulance base in Licking. 

Mr. Strickland stated that the propane bids came in from four different companies. Ms. Pamperien noted that the lowest bid went to West Plains propane at $1.22 per gallon. This is an increase from last year, which was only $.78 per gallon. Due to the increase, our expense will surge from $93,000 to $145,000 for the year.

Mr. Strickland remarked that the Foundation golf tournament held on June 12 was a huge success in raising $22,941. We had 74 golfers and a total of 66 sponsors. The funds raised will be used primarily for scholarships.  Mr. Strickland noted that the deadline to apply for a $1,000 scholarship for Fall 2021 is July 1 at noon.

Mr. Strickland mentioned the upcoming Hutcheson Pharmacy Lobby re-opening public event will be held next Wednesday, June 30. We will be offering COVID-19 vaccines all day, along with Custard by C-Sue from 10 a.m.–2 p.m., free hot dogs and drinks from 11 a.m.–1 p.m., a cooler basket drawing at 5:30 p.m., and sale prices on several summer items. Mr. Strickland mentioned our 2020 annual report is finalized, printed, and will be distributed throughout the community.

Present at the meeting were Linda Pamperien, chief financial officer; Helania Wulff, director of public relations; Courtney Owens, quality director; Chris Strickland, chief executive officer; Jonathan Beers, DO, chief of staff; board members, Jim Perry; Allan Branstetter; Joleen Durham; Jay Loveland; Steve Pierce.

The next meeting of the TCMH board of trustees is Tuesday, July 27 at 12 p.m. in the Jayson Gentry Community Safe Room.  Due to COVID-19 and social distancing restrictions, you may attend the meeting via teleconference.  To attend the meeting via teleconference, please call 417-967-1236 and you will be placed into the teleconference meeting.