Hospital moving forward, reports positive start to 2013

| June 6, 2013
Pictured is Coshocton Hospital CEO Robert Miller, speaking to the board of directors and key hospital staff during the annual meeting, held Monday evening, June 3 at the hospital. Seated is Max Crown, current Chair of the Coshocton Hospital Board of Trustees.

Pictured is Coshocton Hospital CEO Robert Miller, speaking to the board of directors and key hospital staff during the annual meeting, held Monday evening, June 3 at the hospital. Seated is Max Crown, current Chair of the Coshocton Hospital Board of Trustees.

COSHOCTON – Coshocton Hospital CEO Robert Miller shared the results of 2012 and the performance of the hospital thus far in 2013 during the annual meeting, held Monday evening, June 3 at the hospital. Max Crown, hospital Board of Trustees Chair, introduced Mr. Miller to the hospital staff, trustees and media present.

Using a PowerPoint presentation, Miller gave the updated Mission Statement for the hospital. That mission statement is, “To deliver quality, kindness and respect . . . every person, every time.”

Miller reported that the hospital has made many improvements over the past year. The hospital received an additional three year accreditation and the laboratory received two years additional accreditation. “These are both great accomplishments that we are very proud of,” said Miller.

Important differences were highlighted in the balance sheet for 2012 versus 2011 which was in total assets, with a reduction in 2012 of 1.5 million. This came from inventory, cash and cash equivalents and some prepaid assets. The new computer system resulted that will allow the hospital to have electronic medical records to meet federal mandates that are part of the healthcare reform, increased equipment substantially.

The hospital did receive a line of credit of $4 million from Genesis, which is the management agreement entered into in July of 2012. The line of credit is to help with the operations of the hospital.

Miller reported that the hospital had a very tough year in 2012, with revenues being down about a half a million dollars. Patient count was similar but expenses increased by nearly four million dollars. Two million of this was an increase in health care benefits for hospital employees.

The hospital did show an increase in net assets due to having the land transferred from the county to the hospital, which was a $300,000 transfer.

Miller said, “The positive line items below the operations line gave us a net loss of $6.1 million dollars for 2012. Now we can talk about the wonderful things that we’ve done since last year and what we did at the end of last to turn the hospital around.”

Several graphs were shown that indicate the hospital is showing marked improvement in several areas: days in patient accounts receivable, days cash on hand, revenue per FTE, and salary per FTE. During the phase in of the new computer system, Miller reported that DSO (Days Sales Outstanding) had climbed to over 70 days but significant gains have been made with DSO at 50 as of December 31, 2012.

Comparing Coshocton Hospital to similarly sized hospitals in the country, Miller said, “We’re generating about the right amount of revenue for a hospital of our size and the number of employees”.

The hospital contracted with American Healthcare Solutions for an operational review and the company came up with over 100 recommendations. The hospital is focusing on about ten or fifteen of those and grouped them into categories.

The hospital is implementing those suggestions as a series of action plans with the following accomplishments in 2012; established a line of credit with Genesis Healthcare, which has helped the hospital through some tough times and is not marked up, used American Healthcare Solutions SHARP staffing. Using this data, the hospital has reduced paid FTE (full time equivalent employees) from 504 as of April 2012 to 459 FTE as of December 2012. This is a productivity management system that has worked in other hospitals.

Miller said, “The thing that I am the most proud of is that we were able to do this without laying off fifty employees. We became very much more conscious when someone left to not replace them. We created jobs among departments. We did this so we did not have to lay off employees in our community.”

The hospital has focused on improving accounts receivable. Improving patient access to services using Lean Six Sigma, hired Dr. Robert Gwinn as Chief Medical Officer, a part-time role, which Miller said, “This is probably one of the best moves we have ever made at this hospital.”

Other action steps have been implemented, including an employee engagement survey which had more than 90% participation from hospital employees, of which Miller said he was “Very proud. We had some of the highest numbers of the company that performed this that they’ve ever seen.”

There are now 37 departmental action plans in process throughout the hospital.

2013 action plans include; a service line evaluation and development, improving the revenue cycle, improving physician services, establish a hospital based clinic, develop 2014 strategic initiatives, establish a service excellence program establish a clinical integration program with physicians being members of the Ohio Integrated Care Providers, implement the community needs assessment, implement revisions to reduce employee benefit cost by $200,000 annually, fully implement the 20213 organizational scorecard, and any other board recognized initiatives that may occur in 2013.

The hospital is improving access for local care; with a key point made that in December less than 5% of ER patients were transferred to other hospitals. “We’re watching it, we’re monitoring it. The good news is that patients who need treatment are getting treatment in the right location.”

A second orthopedic surgeon started in April of this year. “We do about 35% of the orthopedic business of people who live in Coshocton County. By adding a second doctor we’re giving patients an opportunity to use our services locally that they’ve had to drive away from our community for. We replaced a pediatrician that left and worked on getting our occupational medicine business back in line.”

Miller especially pointed out the maintenance department and the work they are doing – giving every single room in the hospital a facelift. “They are one of our most engaged departments in this hospital.”

Perhaps most significant is that Miller concluded by saying that the hospital is working more closely with the clinics, treating them the same as every employee of the hospital, looking ahead to 2014 to build strategic initiatives going forward, established a service excellence program, implemented leadership training, and has been profitable the first three out of four months in 2013.

Board of Trustees chair Max Crown said, “We are the largest employer so it is very important for our employees that we maintain this hospital for them to come to work every day. But from the community standpoint just keeping them here at home and giving them the best care they can possibly get is huge in my opinion. Just from the financial cost as Bob mentioned, driving to the big city it’s a lot easier on families if they can get there care right here. We do a good job here. I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that we are very cognizant of the fact that the community is supporting the hospital and we are very appreciative of that. Our revenues were able to maintain even with the poor first half of the year and with the progress that Bob and his team are making along with our friends at Genesis Health we’re seeing a nice financial turnaround. I think the long-term health of the hospital is on an upswing and in pretty good shape.”

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About the Author ()

I live with my beautiful wife Nancy on a small farm just outside Coshocton. We have been married for thirty two years and have two grown children, Jessica and Jacob. Jessica is married to Aaron Mencer and they are employed with Coshocton City Schools. Jacob is a sophomore at Kent State University. I graduated from River View High School, have a Bachelor’s Degree from North Carolina Wesleyan University and am actively involved with the Roscoe United Methodist Church, serve on several local committees and am a member of the Coshocton Kiwanis Club, having served as Past-President. I love reading, especially military thrillers, the Civil War and history in general. My goal is to write a novel. My wife and I are also AdvoCare distributors and encourage anyone wanting to lose weight, gain energy and better health to explore AdvoCare at our website; www.fortunes4advocare.com. I love the media field, innovative technology and have worked in newspapers for over 30 years – in fact, my first job was delivering newspapers. The Beacon is a dream made possible by the support of this community and a great team. I hope to continue serving Coshocton County for many years.

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