Mendocino Coast Hospital District Planning Committee March 26, 2018
The Mendocino Coast Hospital District (MCHD) Planning Committee is meeting on Monday, March 26, 2018 and briefly discussed the usual topics including the Parcel Tax, Facilities Projects, Strategic Initiatives and Meeting Legislators.
The Committee is working on it and all relevant papers are filed to proceed with the $1.44 per parcel tax to raise 1.7 million dollars. Committee member John Allison continues to bring up the overall shortfall that he blames on Medicare/MediCal reimbursements and whether this tax measure is enough money to meet the hospital needs. Lund replied with the history of the August 2017 phone survey and he claims this will raise enough money to resolve issues.
Mendocino TV is tired of hearing various inaccurate Medicare and MediCal figures and blaming them for the MCDH financial problems, often also blaming Obstetrics. Medicare pays 99% reimbursement of the cost of its services, while MediCal reimburses at a much lower rate, as do private insurance companies. Given all the Capital needs and potential fines and legal costs, this $144 is a drop in the bucket by Mendocino TV’s estimates. The only real increase is that this will enable MCDH to also borrow more money, contributing to the dangerous debt levels and lower bond covenants ratios.
Long running projects are in various stages of completion, with generally increased costs and timelines, although Telemetry will be completed this week. The Parking Lot will have potholes fixed this week, repaving is down the road. The Nurse Call system will be completed in May. HVAC is “moving forward”, although there was a new Operating HVAC failure, which was repaired. Central Sterile has not begun and the ATS project is held up because documentation of the current system is lost. Most importantly, the Soils Sample, to determine the build ability of a new facility on the MCDH campus, still has not gone out to bid.
The big news here is that MCDH has to reapply for the HELPII loan, since the facilities upgrades are behind schedule. Also, the fact the Soil Sample will take a year to complete further complicates future planning.
President Steve Lund and CEO Bob Edwards are meeting with a group of volunteers to start a Strategic Initiatives process. Under questioning by Committee member Carole White, it appears the group will begin by using information gathered and sorted by Management, not including line staff or stakeholders yet. Apparently this group will develop a plan that will later be brought back to the Planning Committee.
Lund and Edwards attended meetings with Legislators regarding hospital issues and funding, which appears to be in flux at both the State and Federal levels. One interesting note is that the Pharmacy 340B plan, a revenue stream for MCDH especially when buying expensive pharmaceuticals, is in jeopardy. This is interesting as for some undiscussed reasons; MCDH has had problems capturing this income over the last 2 years.
Faith Simon asked a clarifying question regarding Soils Testing, which brought out the fact it will take over a year to get the results!
Malcolm MacDonald asked questions that revealed the following information
Permanent CFO Interviews will be held with candidates March 30 and will occur with management staff and MCDH Board/Committee members in closed sessions.
Lucas Campos, no longer employed by Summit Pain Alliance or stationed at the North Coast Family Health Center, is still on MCDH staff and “to the best of their knowledge is still a resident here”.
While the word is out that Interim CFO John Parigi is out as of March 30 without Board action. The reply was that it was a personnel decision and would be dealt with in closed session this Thursday, although it is not on the agenda!
Another apparently, open and honest employee/contractor bites the dust!
Carole White asked what the status of John Ruprecht is as the MCDH Attorney. President Lund said Mr. Ruprecht will remain as the MCDH attorney and the newly hired firm is now gone.
Extremely interesting that at the last MCDH Board Meeting, it was announced John Ruprecht was leaving the hospital and Adams was assuming his duties. Now we hear that he is back and another major development has apparently happened behind closed doors!