MCDH Board meeting quick and efficient
The most unusual aspect to the Mendocino Coast District Hospital ‘s (MCDH) January 5 Board of Directors meeting was that it only lasted 40 minutes. Reports were short because the new members are getting oriented, the committees are just being reconstituted and staff reported briefly on only current, relevant items. President Lund has the leadership skills that keep a meeting moving forward in an efficient manner.
The new business items, purchasing 7 new beds and leasing new Xerox machines for the entire organization, did have some discussion. While there was a concern about spending $76,310 for new beds, it was reported the remnants of the 20 year old beds have safety concerns for both staff and patients. Additionally, over $59,000 will be funded by the MCDH Foundation and eligible for a 70% cost reimbursement from Medicare, so it passed 4-1. The current duplicating machines are also very old and don’t meet current technological standards and the new lease appear to be cost effective, so it passed unanimously.
The Finance Committee, now chaired by new Treasurer Dr. Luke Campos, reported a small $6000 overall profit for November and expects a higher profit in December after many months of deficits. Of concern is that the current budget projected a profit of $202,842 at this point in the fiscal year, yet through November there is a $409,847 loss. While staff has recently offered a number of reasons for increasing expenses and some additional sources of revenues, it is a vital issue this new board needs to monitor and potentially address.
In closed sessions, there was no further action on the potential censure of Dr. Glusker, although given that meeting was the night prior, it is too soon to expect a draft resolution to be available. A resolution did pass directing staff to report a potential violation of Federal Self-referral Laws pertaining to immediate family members to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS), also known as the Stark Law. This law prohibits a physician from referring their patients to an entity, if the physician or a family member has a financial relationship with the entity. As this was a closed session item pertaining to personnel, no further information is available to the media or the public.
With three important MCDH meetings in three days, those of us in attendance appreciated the brevity of this meeting. On the other hand, we do hope that the delicate balance between the public’s rights to know pertinent information and staff’s need for confidentiality is maintained as we move forward in the efforts to have a healthy and functional community hospital.