The beds at Pocahontas County Memorial Hospital are old – so old that members of the staff are concerned about potential liability in case of an accident, caused by an outdated, clumsy bed. But patients at PMH will soon sleep in the lap of luxury. The PMH board of directors voted to replace all of the hospital’s 25 patient beds.
During the PMH board meeting on December 19, nurse Robin Meadows briefed the board on a variety of potential patient room upgrades and their cost. Meadows displayed a briefing board with pictures of furniture, beds, TVs and other room accoutrements, along with their prices. A full upgrade for one room, Meadows said, would cost nearly $11,000. The nurse said a full upgrade of all 14 patient rooms, including new paint and flooring, would cost in the neighborhood of $270,000.
Prior to making any major expenditures, the board reviewed its finances. CEO Barbara Lay said the hospital made money during the previous month – more than $10,000 in profit. Although the fiscal year-to-date balance is a loss of $205,632, the CEO said back payments from Medicare, and federal government reimbursement for electronic health record implementation would put the hospital finances back in the black. Lay added that a bequest from an Ohio man, totaling nearly $650,000, had been received and was available for use.
In light of the hospital’s improved financial situation, the board discussed the proposed patient room upgrades and decided to fully upgrade the singlemost important feature of the rooms – the beds. The board approved an expenditure of $119,000 for 25 new beds. Not only are the beds more comfortable, they include features that make it easier and safer for hospital staff to work with patients. Lay said the hospital could expect to receive up to $20,000 for its old beds, helping to offset the cost. The CEO recommended that the new beds be paid for with funds from the recent bequest.
Board member Cathy Mosesso said the purchase would raise employee morale, and the board voted unanimously to approve the purchase.
The board reached a consensus to fully upgrade one patient room, as a model, at a cost of approximately $11,000. The hospital hopes to raise funds during an upcoming capital campaign to upgrade more rooms. A donor who funds one upgraded room will have a plaque with his name installed in that room.
The board also reached a consensus to hire a revenue cycle manager, who will manage claims processing, payment and revenue generation. Lay said the cost of the employee would likely be completely offset by cost savings, especially with new health care legislation taking effect.
The next regular PMH Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for January 23 at 6 p.m.