Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 21, 2014

Health center working to finish remodeling project

By VICKI TILLIS | Mar 27, 2014

The Jefferson County Health Center maintenance department is working feverishly to complete the remodel of the business office for the new oncology and hematology services coming to the campus Tuesday.

“Although most likely we won’t have everything completed by this date, we should have enough done to being operational as planned,” health center administrator and CEO Deb Cardin told the board of trustees Monday.

Cardin said the remodeling project to accommodate the new McCreery Cancer Center clinic should wrap up in about a week from its opening date.

“We continue to work through operational issues involving patient records, staff transition and equipment through weekly calls with Ottumwa Regional Health Center’s administration and others as needed,” said Cardin.

Although Cardin had previously said the health center hoped to have an open house for the new cancer center during the biennial health fair April 26, the health fair has now been canceled.

“Due to the numerous things we have going on right now, and most especially the move of oncology, we have canceled the health fair this year,” said Cardin.

But, an open house for the new McCreery Cancer Center will be scheduled after the remodeling is done and the McCreerys return from wintering in Texas.

“One suggestion from the oncology staff is to have a combined health fair with [Ottumwa Regional Health Center] to help demonstrate our partnership,” said Cardin. “No decision has been made as of yet.”

To help meet obstetric and gynecology needs of local patients, the Ottumwa Regional Health Center is providing Jefferson County Health Center with more coverage.

Dr. Elizabeth Tigges and Dr. Jeffrey Bittner are now seeing patients once a week in Fairfield instead of just once a month. Tigges will be here three days a month, and Bittner will be here one day a month.

“They welcome new GYN patients of all ages, and will see OB patients right up to their delivery date,” said Cardin.

In his monthly financial report to the trustees, chief financial officer Larry Peach pointed out the number of patients was down 10 percent from what was expected in February. He also pointed out the number of physical therapy treatments was down a little more than 14 percent from what was budgeted, but he blamed that on the cancellation of appointments due to bad weather.

The Jefferson County Health Center’s gross accounts receivable decreased by $148,122 to $5,188,650 as of Feb. 28.

In February, 3,472 claims, with a gross value of about $3.5 million, were filed.

The health center ended February with a net income of $54,544, which is about 80 percent less than the $279,807 it had budgeted, but Peach explained this was because the Meaningful Use refund, for switching to an electronic record system, had arrived in January instead of in February as expected.

The center’s year-to-date net income totaled $1,613,513, which is above the $779,030 it had budgeted.

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