The Mendocino Coast District Hospital (MCDH) Board of Directors meeting on August 30, 2018 at 6:00 PM appears to have many potentially important updates on pending items.
The Closed Session items, which are generally only reported as “gave staff direction” really do not tell the public anything. In addition to the usual items such as the Hardin V. MCDH, there are some new interesting items including legal collection issues with Summit Pain Alliance, hiring the new legal company and employee labor negotiations.
The open meeting agenda has a number of items that involve the community including the Parcel Tax Oversight Committee bylaws, adding new Planning Committee members, Pain Management replacement status, facility projects status and the ongoing Electric Health Records (EHR) project.
Post Meeting editorial by Marianne McGee, MA
As I surmised before the MCDH Board of Directors meeting, community input and involvement as well as transparency are foremost in the minds of the audience, staff and Board Members.
There were three interesting reports from the Closed Session. It appears that the contract for the legal firm of Norris Archer is a continuing issue, as is the retirement plan of current attorney John Ruprecht! While no explanation is given, something has put legal representation issues on hold. Additionally, the conference with legal counsel regarding collection action against Summit Pain Alliance is for breach of contract.
The need for community involvement and transparency was raised throughout the meeting and had impacts on numerous items, which is a promising trend. While the Planning Committee had approved Dr. Killian as a new member, after much discussion, the Board voted to open that position to community members before an appointment is made. Additionally, the Finance Committee is also in need of community participation, so interested people should send President Lund and Gayl Moon a letter of interest. People are also encouraged to attend their meetings, both of which are scheduled for September 25. Additionally, Mr. Birdsell requested that there be a new agenda item of “General Discussion”, between the MCDH Board and the community.
After much discussion between staff, board members and the community, they voted to go forward with the contract with Meditech, which will replace their current disparate computer systems for Electronic Health Records (EHR). Watch the video to see the needs for a new system, the costs and how the 2 million dollars will be financed.
Will Lee reported that chronic pain patients may have their needs met with a potential new doctor to administer the pain clinic, perhaps as early as September 10. There is a need to get his medical license credentialing completed and approved before more information can be shared about him.
The Parcel Tax Oversight Committee Bylaws were presented to the Planning Committee, who gave Chair Lund a great deal of feedback regarding changes, which will be sent out again before their September meeting. People can get on the lists to receive MCDH Board & Committee materials by contacting Gayl Moon.
The Parcel Tax was also discussed in regards to the Financials. It is being added to the monthly financials at $133,000 per month, since the money will be accrued beginning July 1. While the first month of the new fiscal year was a negative balance of $42,864, the actual loss was offset by the positive $133,000 being posted as income. And, it will be up to the Tax Oversight Committee to decide how the parcel tax should be spent. So, MCDH is still struggling to be financially stable. CFO Mike Ellis does appear to working with staff to lower expenses and increase reimbursements and the new computer system is supposed to help significantly.
Lastly, the Financial Committee reviewed the income and expenses for their Nuclear Medicine Program. The result may be discontinuing this service, which only serves one patient a week. It is going back to both the Finance and Planning Committees to study the program and the impacts of discontinuing it before it returns to the entire MCDH Board.
It does appear that the hospital has heard the community concerns and wants more input and transparency. Considering there may be a new MCDH Board majority after the November election, it is a critical time to get involved!
For more information, please watch the video!