Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 22, 2014

Health center showing ‘strong growth’ for inpatient services

By VICKI TILLIS, Ledger news editor | Nov 27, 2012

The Jefferson County Health Center Board of Trustees learned the facility had “another good month” in October during the board’s meeting Monday evening.

In his report to the board, chief financial officer Gene Irwin said the health center had a net income during October of $209,657, compared to the $12,364 it had budgeted, which is a 1,595.7 percent variance. The net income for the year so far is $968,312, compared to the $624 it had budgeted, which is a 155,078.2 percent variance.

“We had another good month,” Irwin said. “We had a good collection month, too.”

The health center’s gross account receivable decreased by $505,647 to $4,908,865 as of Oct. 31. In addition, to this, there is a physician clinic account receivable of $90,827 for a total gross account receivable of $4,999,692. Total allowances were $1,477,000 for a net account receivable of $3,522,692.

A total of 4,845 claims were filed in October, with a gross value of $4,274,401. Medicare collections for the month totaled $989,171. Medicaid collections were $234,336. Total patient collections for October, including Medicare, Medicaid and physician clinic, was $2,312,008.

Irwin pointed out the health center continued to see strong growth for inpatient services during October.

The health center had an average daily census of 13.5 patients in October, which is more than the 12.2 patients it had predicted in its budget. Plus, the number of patient days in October totaled 419; it had predicted 376 days.

Health center administrator and CEO Deb Cardin updated the trustees on the construction under way. She explained the digging on the east side of the facility was for the new sewer. Contractors tapped a manhole and then ran a larger line north that picks up the new addition and the dialysis building. The sewer runs under the new north parking area “so in the future, if we wanted to build north, sewer would be available.”

Cardin said the new south parking lot opened for use Monday, and crews finished paving the west parking lot, which will be used by service departments and vendors.

The whole north lot will be rocked, and then, depending on the weather, “we hope to get half of it paved. Staff could then park on the concrete this winter, and contractors could park on the gravel,” Cardin continued.

Plumbers and electricians are “roughing in a little” for the inside portion of the addition, she added.

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.

Cardin said the emergency room’s new telemedicine service with the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics started Nov. 19, but as of Monday, the staff hadn’t had an opportunity to use it.

“But we have had success at expanding this telemedicine service to our wound clinic,” she said, adding wound patients will be seen by UIHC providers via telemedicine. “A nurse will facilitate this on our end and be available for dressing changes.”

The new American EyeCare clinic hosted “a very nice” open house Nov. 15 for Jefferson County Health Center staff and physicians, and plans to have an open house for the public in a month or so, said Cardin.

Trustee Greg Hanshaw asked what was the scope of the clinic’s services.

Cardin explained American EyeCare works in conjunction with Dr. Jonathan Cutler, who provides a semimonthly specialty eye clinic at the health center.

American EyeCare, she continued, provides the full gamut of eye care services and brings cutting-edge technology for eye exams.

Joneane Parker, vice president of clinical services, reported 183 additional people had blood sugar screenings since last month. She said two more screening events have been scheduled, plus two more are in the works. She said any group interested in setting up a screening should call her.

“We’re happy to do that,” she said.

Jefferson County Health Center is meeting one of its strategic plan goals by offering free diabetes screening to community members.

Ginny Hughes, the health center’s community relations manager, has said diabetes is the fast growing chronic disease in this country, and “a simple, painless blood sugar test can tell you if you are at risk.”

 

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