Pocahontas Memorial Hospital Financial Situation Continues to Improve

Marlinton, WV – The Pocahontas Memorial Hospital Board of Directors were pleasantly surprised at the February 24th meeting. Chad Carpenter, the hospitals’ Chief Financial Officer said the finances are headed in the right direction. The year to date loss is now down to $40,000.00 dollars.

A Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement for previous underpayments of $192,000 coupled with catch up payments from other sources constituted much of the improvement. The new Codax billing systems is on line and functioning. That system corrects billing errors before they are posted and should result in more timely payments. Additionally, previously rejected bills from Blue Cross Blue Shield are now being resubmitted.

Carpenter was surprised to learn that Workers Compensation premiums are paid in full. Previously he had thought that premiums had to be paid in 12 installments but now realizes that after six months, the premium is paid in full for the year. He says the premium is based on staff salaries. As overtimes goes up, so does Workers Comp. By managing personnel more effectively so as to reduce overtime and by reclassifying some employees, he hopes to reduce the premium further.

Carpenter says that drug purchases were $25,000 less than budgeted, and that by ensuring that all supplies and services are correctly billed to patient accounts, the per day charge per in-patient care increased from $1100 last month to $1674. Board President Dr Robert Must commented that he’s very pleased with the improvement.

“This one statistic about a significant increase in the daily inpatient charges reflects not just a little bit of hard work by a couple of people but reflects teamwork by everybody in the hospital” he says “which is a wonderful thing.”

Interim CEO Barbara Lay updated the Board on last month’s patient complaint. Barbra Lay says the Hospital staff has undergone retraining with an emphasis on patient’s rights. Also, she says that they are developing a Patients Rights Booklet to be added to the patient kits.

Lay says that they are still pursuing the Rural Health Clinic status as well as Level IV Trauma Center Designation. The RHC would allow for better reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid. The Level IV Trauma Center should increase usage at the emergency room and would decrease the Hospital’s liability.

Lay says that changing the name of the Ambulance Service will not affect billing and that the cost of doing so would be as little as changing the decals on the three operational Ambulances.

In other business, the Board approved the following: the lease of a new Bone Density Scanner, rejoining the West Virginia Hospital Association and writing off $38,000 in uncollectable debt.

The next meeting of the PCMH Board of Directors is March 24, 2011.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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