Michelle Romero reported on COVID and said Plumas County is in Orange Tier with 8 active cases. EPHC had given out 2250 to the public so far and public health has taken over giving vaccines. She stated 85% of SNF residents are vaccinated and 55% of staff are vaccinated. Visitors are now permitted in both the skilled nursing facilities and acute areas with restrictions.
Director Dr. Paul Swanson said 55% of staff isn’t good. There’s the potential of staff passing it to other staff or patients and worried they were at risk for a big surge with variants in the future. He stated it was balancing individual wishes against the greater good.
Director Theresa Whitfield said better education was the key by showing why getting the vaccine is a good idea. Whitfield stated EPHC needed to show the effectiveness of the vaccine so employees can make an informed decision. She stated the new variant is so much more aggressive and damaging that the best bet is to have a vaccine to avoid that. McGrath felt this should be encouraged more strongly, adding it’s not in their best interest or the institution’s to not be vaccinated. Romero said they’ve sent out a lot of information on the vaccine and spoke with many staff members who said they would quit if they were required to get it.
CEO Doug McCoy stated they could certainly continue
to push education and more community education as well. Swanson felt one on one conversations seemed to be the most effective and Director Linda Satchwell thought incentives for getting the vaccine might help. Chief Nursing Officer Penny Holland stated the Board needed to recognize the work Romero and her staff have done to keep COVID out of Skilled Nursing and have had very minimal employees with COVID.
McGrath expressed they are extremely proud of the work they have done and stated they were only trying to find what else could be done to encourage people to at least get the first shot. Holland stated staff has been working hard to get shots into people but people have opinions and education can only go so far.
Human Resource Director Lori Tange reported they’d hired a new dental assistant, dietary aide, five well qualified nurses and would have the opportunity to hire six CNA students once graduated from the program. HR is still seeking the right person for the HR assistant position.
Chief Financial Officer Katherine Pairish stated for the month of March, 2021 EPHC posted a net profit in the amount of $1,264,555, thanks to the second HQAF6 Intergovernmental Transfers (IGT) in the amount of $1,697,607. EPHC also saw improvement in revenues overall, posting just under budget by $15,500.
Total Operating Expenses for the month were over budget by $230,176. Year-to-date Net Income was $1,857,499. Pairish said they budgeted for a year-to-date Net Loss of $488,410. The variance is due mainly to the fact that IGT’s came in over budget by $2,587,641.
Pairish reported days cash on hand at March 31, 2021 was 280. Without the CARES Act, Medicare Advance, and PPP funds, days cash on hand would be 144. March 31, 2020 days cash on hand was 43.
Year-to-date EPHC has paid $536,496 for COVID supplies and testing. While the District Hospital Leadership Forum and other groups continue to push for forgiveness of the Medicare advance funds, Congress has yet to address the proposal; therefore, Medicare will recoup these funds. EPHC is working on its application for PPP loan forgiveness. The deadline for the submission of the application is August, 2021.
CEO Doug McCoy reported after a low revenue performance to start 2021, March posted revenue was the highest for the 2020/21 fiscal year to date. Continued strong volumes in outpatient rehab and ancillary services along with increased performance in clinic volume helped increase overall revenue by 30% over February and 22% over January.
EPHC continues to support Plumas County in weekly COVID vaccination clinics, and as of early April community members over the age of 18 are receiving vaccinations. McCoy stated they had been holding hospital beds for a potential surge in COVID patients in late 2020 and early 2021, but as of early March swing beds were reopened which will help with increased revenues for April.
He said after several postponements due to COVID, the ‘Ignite the Patient Experience’ on-site training event will be held on May 18-19. This program will add more structure and processes to their customer service program and is designed to also to increase employee engagement and retention.
After more than 12 years of service with EPHC Dr. Phen retired on March 31st. McCoy stated EPHC sincerely appreciates her years of dedicated service to the members of our community and the residents of our skilled nursing.
facilities. Dr. Phen’s patients will be seen by Dr. Adams and other new providers joining EPHC in the next few weeks.
McCoy reported recent health care industry cyber security threats have resulted in a review of their systems and process to prevent ransomware attacks or data breeches. They have completed a cyber risk assessment and intend to transition EPHC from a Google platform to a Microsoft based system for email and other related software packages.
McCoy said an abbreviated standard SNF survey was conducted In March for 8 self-reported incidents. No deficiencies were identified. CMS/CDPH has lifted the COVID restrictions for annual survey to be reinitiated, and EPHC is expecting that process to occur for the campus in the next 90 days.
McCoy spoke regarding the Loyalton property at 701 Main Street for a potential clinic. He stated there was strong interest on behalf of the leadership team to present some opportunities to the Board in closed session. McCoy added there is a lot of interest from other entities on the property as well.
Board Attorney contract was discussed and McCoy stated the adjustment to $250/hour was consistent with inflation since the last increase. The adjustment was approved unanimously. Whitfield wanted the Board to look at alternatives other than Porter Simon since they also represent the City of Portola and wanted to avoid any conflicts. She didn’t want to put someone in an unethical position when they are representing both EPHC and the City. The Board consensus was to research who other rural hospitals were using.