[the_ad_placement id=”banner-right-placement”]

[the_ad_placement id=”banner-left-placement”]

EPHC discusses end of federal health emergency, delay in Loyalton clinic grand opening

Lauren Westmoreland

Director Gail McGrath reported that in January of this year, the EPHC Auxiliary had a gross income of $10,685, with a net income of $2,202. “That shows how much it costs to keep the doors open,” McGrath commented. Gross income for the month of February totaled $10,505 with a net sales of $6,374. “This is consistent with this time last year,” McGrath explained.

The total 2023 net income thus far is at $8,586, with a total amount of $120,780 in the account. “This is a good sign, although donations have been fairly slow at this point- the back room is emptier than we’ve seen it in a long time. As soon as something goes out it is sold,” she concluded.

Staff reports

Michelle Romero of Infection Control reported that respiratory infections were trending down, with five covid positives and one RSV positive since the beginning of March. Romero reported that the mask requirement in the hospital setting would be ending as of Monday, April 3, with the ending of the public health emergency on the federal level to occur on Thursday, May 11. Covid testing and vaccination will still be available for all patients and staff at all EPHC clinics.

Chief Nursing Officer Penny Holland reported that staffing was holding steady, with no travelling nurses currently being used on the acute Emergency Room floor. She also reported that staff was training on the new EMR, or Electronic Medical Record system.

Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Director Tamara Santella reported that in terms of staffing, the SNFs were still utilizing travelling nurses to an extent and that the nursing assistant training program finished on March 22.

It was also noted that CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) has identified the Eastern Plumas Health Care SNF locations with a four-star status and congratulated all SNF team members for their hard work.

Director of Clinics Tracy Studer reported that she had been able to do the final walk through of the Loyalton medical clinic.

“The clinic is gorgeous, and the contractor has gone over and above to make sure everything is perfect; it’s ready to be moved into,” Studer said. “We have had a setback in the licensing of the new clinic and that will take a bit longer than anticipated. In the meantime, we are also continuing to do our front and back office training.”

A diabetic retinopathy screening agreement has been renewed, and Studer reported that she was really looking forward to that being in place. EPHC will be sending letters to the 600 or so patients that could use the services over the coming weeks.

It was also noted that EPHC had been having difficulties with the rural/critical access designation of the hospital by the state. “Of any area Loyalton qualifies as rural,” Director Augustine Corcoran said.

Director of Rehabilitation Jim Burson reported that EPHC welcomed a new speech language pathologist.

“Doug and I met with the interior designer for the coming wellness center, and we are looking at estimates for the square footage. Things are moving forward,” Burson commented.

Burson also reported that inpatient therapy treatment has increased over the last quarter. Outpatient numbers having been climbing steadily this year, despite census and referral numbers being down

This was attributed to the recent staff vacancies in speech pathology and physical therapy along with the inclement weather. Burson also noted that EPHC was hiring for a new full time physical therapist.

Chief Finance Officer Katherine Pairish reported on the financials for the month of February. Gross revenue for February of this year exceeded 2022 during the same time period by $495,689 and to date, the third quarter of the fiscal year for 2023 has seen a gross revenue improvement of $1,342,093 over 2022.

Gross Revenues were under budget by $62,596, with gross accounts receivable as of February 28 at $9.3 million.

Chief Executive Officer Doug McCoy reported that there has been much happening at EPHC, with the entire campus in the final stages of preparation to transfer to the new Cerner EMR (Electronic Medical Records) system on Monday, April 3.

McCoy also reported that with construction completed on the new Loyalton clinic, EPHC was working with an external consulting firm for both state and federal licensing. “Based on the reclassification of Loyalton as a non-rural area by CMS, we must ensure a reversal of that designation completed prior to the processing of our licensure. Although Loyalton is clearly a rural area, this CMS change in classification status will mean a delay in application processing and opening of the clinic,” McCoy explained.

McCoy also reported that the EPHC foundation board recruitment process has been successful with all five board positions secured.

McCoy closed with the news that EPHC continues to receive positive patient feedback during the second half of the first quarter, with 100 percent recommendation rates for clinic services, hospital swing bed services, outpatient therapy services, and skilled nursing services, as well as an 84 percent recommendation for emergency department services and a 95 percent recommendation rate for lab services.

[the_ad_placement id=”banner-left-placement”]