North Valley Hospital CFO concerned about financial health

TONASKET - North Valley Hospital Chief Financial Officer Helen Verhasselt reported at the last regular board meeting that as of...

Submitted photo North Valley Hospital Community Outreach Liaison Mikaela Marion (left) and Teresa Davis take time out for a photo op during NVH’s 78th Birthday Party Celebration Thursday, August 25. Davis, a recreation therapist in both the hospital and Extended Care, treats NVH newborns to their first photography session, a service provided free of charge. For more information on the 78th birthday celebration.
Submitted photo
North Valley Hospital Community Outreach Liaison Mikaela Marion (left) and Teresa Davis take time out for a photo op during NVH’s 78th Birthday Party Celebration Thursday, August 25. Davis, a recreation therapist in both the hospital and Extended Care, treats NVH newborns to their first photography session, a service provided free of charge. For more information on the 78th birthday celebration.

Hospital celebrates 78 years

TONASKET – North Valley Hospital Chief Financial Officer Helen Verhasselt reported at the last regular board meeting that as of Wednesday, August 24, the hospital district was about $200,000 short of revenue compared to what was going out in accounts payable and payroll, and that the problem could grow worse over the next few months.

Verhasselt said the shortage was due to business at the hospital being slow.

“Looking at 2015 volumes, we’ve had 189 less swing bed days, 375 less long term care patient care days, less deliveries, 70 less emergency room visits, we’ve had less labs and radiology is down, surgery is down by 36, the provider based clinic is down, rehab services are significantly down, and the VA is down by over 400,” said Verhasselt, also reporting that 2016 was seeing an increase in outpatient care.

“It’s kind of a scary position we are in right now. We’ve had a couple of days this week with no inpatients.”

Verhasselt said days cash on hand was at 83.

Year to date net patient revenue was budgeted at $13,549,742 but the actual total is $12,095,606, a difference of $1,454,136.

“So far as of July, our net patient revenue is coming in under budget by $1,450,000 for the year,” said Verhasselt. “We received over $100,000 in proshare we weren’t counting on, as well as a $211,000 meaningful user payment, and that is going away. This is not good news, we really have to tighten up.”

Bad debt year to date is at $279,000 and Charity Care at $268,000 for a total of $547,000.

Verhasselt reported a State Compliance Audit and Financial Audit for the years 2013, 2014 and 2015 will be published before the end of the month.

“There were no audit findings, but there were a few management items regarding a few things we need to do internally to get some checks and balances in place,” said Verhasselt.

Board Chair Helen Casey presented the second reading of Resolution 582 calling for the removal of Hospital District CEO Mike Zwicker. Commissioner Adam Tibbs motioned to approve it and Commissioner Clarice Nelson seconded the motion, which was unanimously accepted. Casey next presented a first reading of Resolution 587 appointing Ron O’Halloran as interim administrator, which will become effective when it is approved at the next regular board meeting, scheduled for Sept. 8. O’Halloran, retired CEO from Republic’s Ferry County Hospital District #1, was brought on board as interim CEO in April 2015 when the position was vacated by Linda Michel. O’Halloran remained in the position until Zwicker was hired in May of 2015.

NVH celebrated its 78th year year as a hospital Aug. 25

“The birthday celebration turned out to be incredible. We had so many people come by and show their appreciation for the hospital,” said Community Outreach Liaison Mikaela Marion, who organized the event. “Everybody got in on the festivities and had an absolutely wonderful time.”

Marion also reported conducting a survey of main street businesses in Tonasket and Oroville, asking residents “how we are doing and what we can improve on.”

“Every single person I spoke with had positive things to say regarding experience with service and staff at the hospital,” said Marion. “A lot of people said they would like to see more workshops and outreach events.”

Marion said when she inquired at the Tonasket Police station, she was told anything the hospital could do to benefit youth would be a big advantage.

“I took that as a big thing to work on,” said Marion. “It is important in a community like ours, especially in a hospital where we have lots to learn about and share.”

Marion said she was designing an internship opportunity to area high school juniors and seniors where they would have the opportunity to work four to eight hours per week with herself or other hospital district employees. Last year NVH provided job-shadowing opportunities for Oroville and Tonasket high school students which were well received by both schools. Marion said the internship program would use the same screening process as the NAC program.

“School teachers and leaders would have to be able to say this is something the student could do, and then we would give them an orientation at the hospital,” said Marion. “I have already met with Tonasket School District Superintendent Steve McCullough, and he is real excited about it.”

Marion reported the NVH Sleep Lab will open Sept. 22, and it is already full for the first session. Commissioner Herb Wandler said the sleep lab in Wenatchee run by Confluence Health is generally booked out two to three months in advance. The NVH Sleep Lab will be run by Dr. Jakdej Nikomborirak (Dr. Jak), MD, who has been the medical director of numerous sleep centers in the Pacific Northwest. Dr. Jak is board certified by the American Board of Sleep Medicine, as well as board certified in internal and pulmonary medicine.

Noreen Olma reported the LEAN Team’s project of clearing Room 110 of surplus and repurposed items was completed.

“We had a lot of support from people in other departments helping us, and Room 110 is now ready for buildout,” said Olma as she presented a symbolic key to the room to Casey.

Casey said that while the hospital is hoping to use Room 110 as an additional Swing Bed room, the cost of refitting the room would be around $50,000, so that project is on hold for now.

The board approved an emergency repair of one of two air conditioning units on the roof of the new hospital, with the bid at around $20,000. The warranty on the unit went out about a year ago.

Karen Schimpf reported applying for a $9,000 Regional Impact Grant with the Community Foundation of NCW for the hospital foundation. If received, the grant will go towards a lift upgrade on a van donated to NVH’s Extended Care Division by the Okanogan County Veteran’s Board after they purchased a new van. The lift, which will cost $14,000 plus, will allow for two wheelchairs, enabling Long Term Care residents to go on outings. Schimpf said she was hoping to raise $2,000 from the community to fulfill the public portion of the grant.

“There’s no guarantees on receiving the grant, but we should know by November,” said Schimpf, who thanked Dixie Brown and Linda Noon for helping her write the grant.

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