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Henry County Medical Center Experiences Challenges During Pandemic

New Pricing Estimator for Services is Available on Website


PARIS (December 21) — The Henry County Medical Center Board of Trustees heard of challenges and a new surgeon during a December 21 meeting.

The audit report from LBMC, independent auditor, at Monday night’s meeting. With a recorded net income of $460,000 for FY2020, Brad Bloemer reported that changes were made to guidelines for the stimulus money that HCMC received, and the financial reports had to be adjusted, creating a loss for the FY2020 of $4.2 million.

“This adjustment does not mean that HCMC has lost these funds, it is in reserves, it will just be recognized in FY2021,” said Andrew Bissonnette from LBMC. “There is no impact to cash, just changes to rules and regulations that needed to be adjusted and reflected in the audit.”

Laura McGregor from LBMC reviewed the report with the board, discussing the differences year-over-year, highlighting fluctuations and changes within the financial reports.

“COVID-19 completely disrupted the healthcare industry this fiscal year, and HCMC was no exception,” said McGregor. “If COVID-19 hadn’t occurred, HCMC was on track to increase in revenue from the prior year.”

Overall, the organization received a clean audit review during challenging times.

Lisa Casteel, Chief Executive Officer at Henry County Medical Center, shared her administrative report with the board. She provided an update on federal and state funding of $15.2 million, with $6 million of that recognized in FY2020 and $2.8 million recognized this year. HCMC is to receive the COVID-19 vaccine the week of December 28. HCMC is allocated to receive the Moderna vaccine.

Casteel shared updated COVID-19 statistics for the state, the West District and Henry County. We have an increase of new cases over the last seven days of 15 percent. Active cases have increased to 35 percent. Our current test positivity rate is 24.5 percent. Over the last seven days, there have been three deaths. Today, we are back up to 14 cases within the hospital with a very busy Emergency Room at 25 to 30 percent positive through the ER. We have new infusion therapy medications for outpatient COVID-19 patients that are appearing to have excellent results for patients.

“Under growth, HCMC is very glad to have Dr. Phillips, General Surgeon, to begin the first of January,” said Casteel. “We are looking forward to having him join us.”

Casteel shared with the board the extension of crisis pay to clinical areas along with two retention pay programs for all staff.

“We had to do something in order to help us keep and retain staff,” said Casteel. “Everyone needs staff and we are trying to be competitive with others in the region and state. The two retention programs have allowed us to keep staff here at home and the staff are very appreciative.”

Brad Bloemer, Chief Financial Officer, reviewed the financial report for November with the board. HCMC had a consolidated income of $119,941 during the month of November, but without the stimulus funds, we would have been at a loss of $697,000 for the month. Areas that have been hit hard this month were the Surgery Center, down 50 percent and HCHC at 66 percent below budget. Though our admissions were below budget by 34 percent, HCMC’s case mix index is very high because of COVID-19.

“This number is very misleading, because our patients are very sick and requiring more resources,” said Bloemer.

Bloemer said that salaries were under budget because there are several open positions within the organization. Supplies are over budget because of the cost of drugs to treat COVID-19 patients.

“We have received $15.2 million in total from grants and COVID-19 funds, and we have spent or allocated all but $2 million that we have received,” said Bloemer. “We have until June 30, 2021 to spend the rest of the funds.”

Dr. Scott Whitby, board chairman, commended Bloemer for his report and also recognized Steve Delaney, Director of Accounting, for all his hard work this year. Delaney was recognized today at the Department Directors’ meeting as Department Director of the Quarter.

Bad debts for the month were approved for $610,933.39. Additionally, a couple of capital equipment requests from the contingency funds including a scope and defibrillator were approved at $45,259 for the month.

“Though we often get frustrated at the amount of bad debt we write off, it is important to note that we are here to provide care to our community and we need to recognize that we are helping many who cannot truly pay,” said Dr. Whitby. “We are proud that we are able to provide this care to those who are truly in need.”

Under new business, Pam Ridley, Chief Information Officer, presented on CMS Price Transparency. Hospitals are required by law to publish HCMC’s charge rates for the facility. As of January 1, HCMC must provide contracted rates to the public. HCMC has purchased a price estimator tool that is available on HCMC’s website to provide them a price based on their insurance as well as costs if they don’t have insurance. HCMC has to provide 300 shopable services that are covered under this tool as well as a document that provides all the information as well. HCMC will have more information released about this program on social media and the website.

“Most hospitals are not ready for this,” said Bloemer. “There is a $300 a day fine for those who have not implemented this and Pam has insured that we will not have these fines.”

Casteel also discussed Dr. Whitby becoming an employee under our physician residency program at HCMC to teach students and will be working with Dr. Amanda Finley. He will be reporting to Dr. Finley.

To learn more about the growth at Henry County Medical Center, go to www.hcmc-tn.org and read about all the services offered to care for the community.

The next Board of Trustees meeting is January 28 at 5:30 p.m. at Henry County Medical Center in the Board Room or via Zoom.

About Henry County Medical Center

Located in Paris, Tennessee, Henry County Medical Center is a progressive, integrated healthcare organization committed to serving the healthcare needs of Henry County and the adjoining region. Including a 142-bed hospital and 7 other facilities, the medical center provides a variety of outpatient services, as well as inpatient care. Henry County Medical Center is a county-owned and operated nonprofit institution. For more information: www.hcmc-tn.org.


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