Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Apr 23, 2014

Jefferson County Health Center hires new financial officer

By VICKI TILLIS | Oct 31, 2013

Jefferson County Health Center has hired a financial officer to take the place of Gene Irwin, who is planning to retire Dec. 31.

Jefferson County Health Center CEO Deb Cardin announced to the board of trustees Monday that Larry Peach will begin work Dec. 15.

Cardin said Peach has 30 years of experience in the field of finance, including 12 years at a critical access hospital in Mendota, Ill., which will be beneficial since the local health center also is certified as a critical access hospital.

Cardin explained Peach met with the local physicians, department managers and administration team members, as well as Irwin.

“We were all very comfortable with him and his experience,” said Cardin.

“We also had an in-house candidate,” she continued. “The only thing Heather [Shaull, business office manager] lacked was beyond her control — experience … and it’s what she’s trying to get.”

Peach has been invited to attend the board of trustees’ strategic planning meeting set for Nov. 21 to begin learning about the health center.

Irwin, who has had an 18-year career at the hospital, announced his retirement plans in March, and Cardin said the health center appreciated the advance notice.

In his monthly report to the trustees Monday, Irwin said the health center had 40.7 percent fewer patient days than budgeted during September. The health center had planned for 428, but had only 254.

“We are below where we were last year at this time, but still it was a good month,” Irwin said.

His figures show there have been 977 patient days so far this year, while there had been 1,389 during the same time last year.

Irwin said the 4,517 outpatient visits make up for the low patient days number.

He pointed out the number of outpatient surgeries has “significant growth.” So far this year, there have been 242 surgeries compared to 149 during the same time last year.

Irwin also pointed out cardiac rehab visits numbered 85 in September, bringing the yearly total to 250. By this same time last year, there had been 310 visits.

“We’re above budget this month [85 actual visits compared to 55 budgeted visits], so maybe it’s a turn around month,” he said.

Jefferson County Health Center’s gross account receivable was $4,971,912 and the physician clinic account receivable was $310,399 as of Sept. 30.

A total of 3,668 claims, with a gross value of $3,173,554, were filed in September. Medicaid collections for the month were $159,463. Total patient collections for the month, including Medicare, Medicaid and physicians clinic was $1,962,533.

“We billed quite a bit, but collections were lower than they have been for several months,” said Irwin.

The net income for September was $283,443, 8.7 percent more than budgeted.

The net income year-to-date is $647,400, 67.2 percent more than budgeted. But by the same time last year, the health center had a net income of $758,655.

“That’s about 15 percent above where we are now, but keep in mind, last year was a very good first quarter,” said Irwin.

The trustees approved First National Bank in Fairfield, Iowa State Bank and Trust Company, Libertyville Savings Bank and Bankers Trust as the health center’s banking facilities, and passed a resolution setting $15 million as the account maximum at each bank.

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