April 2013 What is a carb?
According to the general public, media, untrained physicians and any author who wants to make money with a diet book, carbs are foods made from grains like bread, pasta and rice. This is simply not true....
March 2013 Getting Brain Tastical
The secret to making a good movie is the director. He guides the crew, the equipment and the key players to create a cohesive masterpiece. our brain is the director of our bodies and of the epic films we call our lives.
It was great to meet with you last month. As you know I am winding up my
Rotary year as President of the Brookings Harbor Rotary, and that Board meeting
happens at the same time your meeting does. I am free come July!
First some good news; you may have heard we received $1.4 million refund on our Medicare cost settlement. What does that mean? Medicare pays us our cost of providing care for Medicare beneficiaries. The cost is calculated annually, and an interim rate is established that allows Medicare to pay us by the day. The amounts paid versus actual costs are reconciled annually. This past year there were many new costs that were not reflected in the interim rate, hence the big settlement. More good news is that because of the big settlement, Medicare increased our interim rate by over 20%. Now we have to watch things very carefully, or we will end up owing Medicare next year. But wait, there is even more good news. Lisa Allen, our supervisor in the Business Office, challenged a reimbursement from one of the Medicaid plans. Our charges were $120,000, the plan proposed a payment of $30,000, and she was able to get the plan to review the matter and determine that they have been under paying us all year so they are fixing that with a $400,000 reconciliation payment. Way to go Lisa!
Itís budget time these days, and all the managers are immersed in crafting the next operating year. There are lots of terrific ideas for new equipment and one speed bump; we budgeted $1,000,000 for capital expense and have over $2,000,000 in requests. There is lots of trimming to be done in the next several weeks. However, we are looking to obtain grant funding for some requests, and to receive reimbursement for the electronic medial records we are implementing, which will help ease the budget.
Finally, I want to make a small comment about the negative letters in the Curry County Reporter. I addressed the hubbub with the ED physicians when I spoke to you last month. Some folks will not let this issue go, but I have chosen not to respond in kind. However, we all need to be armed with the facts. Long before I joined the District in 2007, we amassed stacks of patient complaints about lack of physician presence in the ED. Getting round the clock physician coverage for the ED was a strategic goal set by the Board in 2008. We brought in EmCare, a physician staffing company to fix the matter, and they have. Patient satisfaction scores in the ED are very good these days. However, in order to make improvements to the level of service and quality of care, we saw the need to bring in a few new doctors, who are Board Certified, to help raise the bar. This has indeed lessened the number of ED shifts worked by the community doctors, but no one has been "fired" or cut out. Our duty needs to be to quality patient care before anything else.
Bill McMillan, MBA FACHE
Chief Executive Officer
Curry Health Network
See December's Note here