Hospital works on lease, mammography service

The Iola Register

Allen County Regional Hospital continues to share information with Saint Luke’s Health System in a move toward a possible lease agreement. 

Much of the information shared has been financial, ACRH Board of Trustees chairman Loren Korte said at the board’s meeting Tuesday night. The hospital’s auditor has been authorized to share information with that of Saint Luke’s, Korte said.

“That’s going to help a lot as far as communication for both teams,” Korte said.

He expects the hospital could receive a lease proposal from Saint Luke’s by June or July.

The hospital’s current contract with Hospital Corporation of America expires June 2020.

 

THE BOARD also heard an update on its mammography accreditation. 

ACRH lost its accreditation from the American College of Radiation (ACR) in May 2017 for failing to meet “clinical image quality standards.” The FDA ordered the hospital to stop performing mammograms and none have been done since. Administrators changed imaging services providers to United Imaging Consultants of Kansas City. They also applied for new accreditation, a lengthy process.

The ACR has approved the hospital’s action plan, said Tony Thompson, hospital administrator. The plan included paperwork attesting to the education, training and certification of staff, from technologists to physicians; and reports from the physicist who reviews the hospital’s mammography equipment and company that maintains the equipment.

Staff training also is underway as part of the accreditation process, Thompson said.

 

THOMPSON asked board members to urge state senators to vote for expanding Medicaid.

Thompson shared an email from Tom Bell, president and CEO of the Kansas Health Association. It discussed the pending legislation and offered discussion points for board members to use when they contact legislators. 

The Kansas legislature will return for a veto session May 1. 

A House bill to expand Medicaid currently sits in the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee. The proposed expansion would include premium payments for beneficiaries, a work referral program, a “poison pill” that would end the program if federal funding drops below 90% and a directive for health care providers to come up with another solution if savings and revenue don’t cover the cost of expansion.

Thompson has previously said Medicaid expansion could result in about $1 million in additional revenue to ACRH. Much of the hospital’s financial losses come from uncompensated care come from patients who would qualify for Medicaid if the program were expanded. 

 

A FINANCIAL report showed fairly strong inpatient volumes in March, an improvement over January and February. The average inpatient daily census was 9.1 patients. 

Emergency room visits and other types of outpatient services fell slightly short of expectations, ACRH Chief Financial Officer Larry Peterson said. Surgeries continue to increase, though, with the addition of surgeon Dr. Ralph Hall. 

The hospital’s net income for March was $170,000, which is in line with budget expectations. 

“January and February were kind of at a break-even, so this was our first strong month for the year,” Peterson said.

 

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