Outsourcing of jobs and services is becoming the norm at the hospital. What business agreements arrangements have been put in place affecting our hospital and community. The following request was presented to the board and administrator at the March 28th board meeting. A request for a public forum to address issues had been presented to the board at a previous meeting. The board response can be noted in the March 21 edition of the Memphis Democrat.
The request for hospital business transactions follows:
March 28, 2019
To: The Scotland County Hospital Board Of Directors Re: Hospital Business Transactions
A summary of the Board actions is not enough accounting of the proceedings. It is a random account of business but not recorded as a monthly voting record undertaken by each elected board member affecting the business of the hospital.
It has come to a point and time, the community as a whole, request the following:
Request all RFP’s, written notes, correspondence, electric communications, dates, times, places, individual votes taken on all business transactions, plans and policies for the past three years regarding: outsourcing housekeeping; coding and billing, pharmacy, QI, respiratory therapy, Ambulance District concerns, and preparations for management of SCMH when new hospital management takes place Also included is the name of the law firm who will be representing this hospital and terms of the agreement.
This request is made under the purview of the Sunshine Law. The board will take an individual vote this evening, indicating a yes or no vote to have a public forum at the April, 2019 Board meeting.
Thanking you in advance for preparing for this open public forum The “Five Minute Rule” will not be invoked
The community, wants and needs to have a functioning hospital, providing care for heart attacks, pneumonia, diabetic issues, delivering babies, broken bones, accident victims, our overall health care needs. We should be participants in our health care, not onlookers.
The hospital has multiple challenges to keep the doors open. Better communication between administration, the board and the people it serves would be a real plus.
Case in point, AVEC, based in Salt Lake City, Utah was at the board meeting, March 28. They have been contracted to help resolve billing and coding issues. Their presentation centered on providing facts and figures regarding reimbursements from public and private insurance payers. Their graphics showed where money was lost. They had a follow up Q & A after their presentation. (Yes, people lost their jobs here in that department.) Since billing and coding is an issue, why didn’t the administration pick up on that issue several years ago when correction would have been easier and less expensive.
The board and CEO missed an opportunity at this meeting to address the reimbursement situation. Considering the cost of flying in three AVEC executives from Utah and one from overseas, why wasn’t a press release put in the paper.
It could have read, “AVEC, a company specializing in trouble shooting problems with reimbursements, will be at the March 28 Board meeting that starts at 5.30. We the Board, ask the public to attend this public forum. AVEC will give a presentation on areas where revenues from public and private payers can be added to keep the hospital solvent.”
This type of communication would have been a positive. The community is more than capable to understand what is happening to revenue sources. The Board and CEO chose a different route.
On the agenda there is a time for public comment. Curtis Ebeling, helped pass out the request for information. I thanked the people from AVEC for the presentation. People now have the request form and I read from it. At that time the CEO, with harsh words spoken, his face red and hand clinched around the request paper, in essence told me ‘it was an insult to the board to bring this request forward. Continuing, he told me he had extended an invitation to meet him for lunch, privately or privately/exec committee to discuss health care issues and I had not responded to the invitation. He picked up his dinner plate and slammed it down on the table.
My response was, “you do not have private meetings to discuss public business.”
Next, a board member asked me, “who in the county has questions about the hospital … I want to know”. He also wanted to know who in the hospital is giving you (Lee) insider information? This whole encounter was witnessed by the AVEC executives. How embarrassing!
I never retreat from a situation. This time was different. It was virtually impossible to have a rational conversation with a person or persons about needs of the hospital and the community involvement.
I thanked the board for their time and complemented AVEC for their presentation. It was time to go home to check on David and a group of calving heifers.
Addendum: There were several other people who spoke under public comment. The Board then went into executive session.
My goal is to speak at the board meeting, bringing information from hospitals I have worked in, ranging from the Indian Reservation to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The board can choose to ask questions or not, very seldom do the elected board members ask any questions.
Hopefully, the Board will address the issues brought before them and have the presence of mind to be up front with the community.
Sincerely Lee Shultz