Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 31, 2014

Health center expansion hits snag

By VICKI TILLIS, Ledger news editor | Dec 28, 2012
Photo by: PHOTO SUBMITTED Contractors erect steel beams on the north side of the Jefferson County Health Center this week. The expansion to the 3-year-old facility will provide additional room for the Medical Arts Clinic, outpatient clinics and the new NuCara pharmacy.

Construction is continuing on the Jefferson County Health Center’s addition, but not without a couple of snags.

CEO and health center administrator Deb Cardin told trustees during their monthly meeting Dec. 17 that while the contractors were installing a large steel beam to an existing beam to bridge the medical office building with the addition the weekend of Dec. 15-16, a steel beam dropped from a crane and damaged the roof of the Medical Arts Clinic.

The contractors, Cardin continued, had enough material on site to make repairs.

The trustees and medical staff representative Michael Greiner said it was fortunate no one was in the clinic at the time.

Greiner, a physician at the Medical Arts Clinic, added the contractors have been accommodating, such as coming in on the weekend to do the steel work, since it would have been extremely disruptive to their operation if it were done during office hours.

“Noise is of some issue, but everyone is understanding,” Greiner said.

The winter weather also is affecting construction.

“After talking to the superintendent of the project … it doesn’t look like we are going to have the north parking lot paved before spring,” said Cardin. “He felt it was too cold.”

Growth of services provided at the Jefferson County Health Center is necessitating the expansion on the north side of the 3-year-old facility. The new space will provide additional room for the Medical Arts Clinic, outpatient clinics, the new NuCara pharmacy and more.

In her report to the trustees, Cardin said the health center’s physical therapy department is offering a new Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization treatment to help regenerate soft tissue.

Cardin said scar tissue can be a part of a body’s normal healing process, but it also can get out of control and restrict the natural movement of soft tissue, and those restrictions can cause pain.

The ASTYM system works to heal both the problem of scarring and degeneration by gently disrupting abnormal soft tissue. ASTYM-certified therapist Brian Petersen runs instruments firming along the skin following the direction of the muscle, tendon or ligament, and the body sends new collagen to the area replacing dysfunctional tissue with healthy tissue.

“It has many applications, including tendon injuries, dysfunctional scar tissue, degenerated plantar fascia or other soft tissues, pain or dysfunction from overuse — carpel tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow — after surgery or trauma, sprains and strains and many other soft tissue injuries,” said Cardin.

The trustees learned the health center continued its streak of good months during November.

“Look at the statistics,” said Cardin. “We’re above in everything other than scopes, which is because there is only one person doing it.”

Forty-six scope procedures were done in November, but the budget had predicted 55.

Cardin said hopes are the numbers will increase when Dan Peaslee begins work Jan. 16.

Chief financial officer Gene Irwin’s report to the board showed the health center had a net income during November of $90,129, compared to the negative $186,478 it had budgeted, which is a 148.3 percent variance.

The net income for the year so far is $1,058,441, compared to the negative $185,854 it had budgeted, which is a 669.5 percent variance.

Cardin said the net income for the year to date is $984,000 better than it was last year at this time.

The health center’s gross account receivable decreased to $4,570,474 as of Nov. 30. In addition to this, there is a physician clinic account receivable of $129,430 for a total gross account receivable of $4,699,904. Total allowances were $1,308,000 for a net account receivable of $3,391,904.

A total of 3,417 claims were filed in November, with a gross value of $3,039,615. Medicare collections for the month totaled $918,491. Medicaid collections were $158,921. Total patient collections for November, including Medicare, Medicaid and physician clinic, was $2,038,571.

The health center had an average daily census of 14 patients in November, which is more than the 12.6 patients it had predicted in its budget. Plus, the number of patient days in November totaled 420; it had predicted 376 days.

The trustees are considering “going green and saving a lot of trees” by purchasing iPads for board members.

“I felt it would be a good thing because I always end up printing out quite a bit for committee meetings,” said chairman Bob Keller.

“It’s a great idea, cuts back on paper and is very easy to use,” added trustee Greg Hanshaw.

“Then we wouldn’t have to shred paper, just keep information on the iPads,” added Keller.

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