MMH wraps up 2017

    “This month’s focus has been on continuing implementation of Athena, the new electronic health records management system, working on the budget and wrapping up loose ends from the 2017 strategic plan,” Melissa Memorial Hospital CEO Trampas Hutches reported to the East Phillips County Hospital District board Monday, Nov. 27.
    Hutches noted that the Medical Group Management Association is conducting a clinic operation assessment at the Family Practice of Holyoke. MGMA representative Ken Hertz is in the process of finalizing the report. Hutches noted that Hertz quickly grasps problem areas and pointed out that creating standardized policies and procedures is key.
    MMH is in the process of hiring a clinic manager for Family Practice, Hutches told the board. The search has been narrowed down to three very good candidates. Human resources completed the initial screening, and Hertz from MGMA will screen for skills. Interviews will begin the first week in December. The new clinic manager will be responsible for using the data collected from the assessment to redesign processes, he added.
    The hospital has created a new position for an electronic health records support specialist to focus on optimal use of the Athena system. Hutches noted that it will be beneficial to have one dedicated person to thoroughly learn and teach all the bells and whistles that come with the new program.
    IT Director Jennifer Werns­man has been added to the senior leadership team. Hutches pointed out that it is pertinent for her to be on the team because of her excellent leadership skills on the Athena project. Nurse practitioner Lane Looka has also been added as a medical staff representative, said Hutches.
    Focusing on culture within the organization, Hutches has scheduled Joe Tye from Values Coach to provide a workshop for culture improvement in accountability, ownership and values in January.
    Hutches commended CFO Wes White on the very thorough and great job he did in creating the 2018 budget.
    
CFO shares financials
    White noted that the conversion to Athena and Intacct, a general ledger and financial reporting system, created challenges in completing the financial reports for October.
    The staff is still learning the new system and developing new workflows. “There is less anxiety and greater acceptance across the whole hospital,” said White. Revenue and accounting procedures within the internal controls are being rewritten for new workflows using Athena and Intacct, he added.
    White noted that collections in October were consistent with prior months. Because of the transition to the new system, there was a delay in getting bills out. Therefore, days in accounts receivable was at 77, up 13 days from last month. Current ratio of assets to liabilities is 3.72:1, above the 2:1 goal, he added.
    MMH is offering a 25 percent discount on all self-pay accounts from the old system through the end of April 2018. Unpaid self-pay receivables will be transferred to a collection agency in May of next year, said White.
    
MMHF reports
    MMH Foundation board representative Steve Young reported that the theme for the Feb. 10 Legacy Event has been announced as “Night on Broadway.”
    Young noted that the foundation board has a new member, Brady Ring. Diana Baeza is leaving the board, and Linda Alberts will step down as president. MMH appointed materials director Kim O’Neill as representative to the MMHF board.
    Funds from the 2017 Legacy Event have been designated as follows:
    — $12,000 to MMHF operations.
    — $2,000 to MMHF Legacy scholarship fund.
    — $2,000 to Gloria Heinitz scholarship fund.
    — $28,500 to MMH.
    
HCCCI reports
    Hutches provided an update to the board from the Holyoke Community Child Care Initiative. The Colorado University students have completed a preliminary feasibility study for the child care facility, and it has been submitted for funding. Hutches noted that they hope to hear more soon.
    
Other business
    In other business at the Nov. 27 meeting, the board:
    —Approved one new appointment for Dennis Jelden, M.D., in family medicine; one regular appointment for Daniel Hoffman, M.D., in dermatology; two reappointments, including Kelby Bethards, M.D., in family medicine and Michael Stone, M.D., in oncology; and four resignations in teleneurology, including Emily Lampe, M.D., Caitlyn Oksienik, M.D., Robert Pratt, M.D., and Michael Star, M.D.
    —Held a 50-minute executive session for CEO performance review and investigation into insurance follow-up.

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