EASTERN PLUMAS HEALTH CARE’S (EPHC) Board of Director’s meeting was held Thursday, December 6th at EPHC’s Education Center in Portola. The annexation with Sierra Valley Hospital District (SVHD) was discussed and Chairman, Jay Scutt stated it was going through fine. He said they were to meet with Plumas County LAFCo on Monday, December 10th and hoped to have the annexation done by January 1st. Skutt stated Sierra County Planning Director Tim Beals and SVHD Chairman Bill Copren were present and wanted the Board to look at a Sierra Valley section off of Highway 395 in Long Valley that they would need to service. He stated if they didn’t want that responsibility they could change the sphere of influence. Beals said this came up during the property tax negotiations as part of the LAFCo process and stated there are no protocols for that area, so when there’s an incident everybody shows up. He stated there’s also no structural fire protection in Long Valley. Beals said Sierra County Fire Protection District #1 is in the LAFCo process to annex the whole district and would ultimately have an agreement with Truckee Meadows Fire for EMS and Fire service to that area, so there would be an overlap. Beals stated EPHC can include it or exclude it but would need a coordinated approach, adding it didn’t need to be decided that day. Vice Chairman Paul Swanson said it should be who can get there fastest, and thought if they couldn’t they shouldn’t do it. EPHC won’t do anything until after the annexation is finalized. Their minutes reflected it would be a special study area that would need to be addressed.
An audit presentation was done by Auditor Jerrel Tucker of JWT & Associates, LLP who stated it
was good news. He stated there were no material weaknesses, and no reportable findings. Tucker stated EPHC paid out $3.7 million and received about $8.6 million. He said they have increased cash on hand and accounts payable is down, adding it was a good year. Tucker continued by stating EPHC is expanding where they need to, and didn’t see any red flags. Chairman Skutt asked if they could do better at bad debt collecting. Tucker stated they are at 45 days and write off percentages have stayed really consistent. He said EPHC’s bad debt has stayed at 2-3% and stated anything under 5% is great, adding they were doing a really good job.
The Chief Nursing Report was given by Interim CEO Jayne O’Flanagan who stated through a series of unfortunate events, three acute care nurses are off work right now. She said they’ve been working on adjusting staffing.
O’Flanagan reported the CNA program started December 3rd and finishes on January 11th. She stated they have eight students in the program and hope to retain five of them. She said there’s been a CNA shortage so they haven’t been able to fill all beds in the skilled nursing facilities. She stated they havewaiting lists and continue to work with local families.
Congratulations to Shawna Lael, Back Office Supervisor, who was selected as Employee of the Year.
O’Flanagan told how lunch and dinner are now being served to staff and felt it was going really well. Swanson mentioned giving meals free of cost to employees, adding he saw it as a morale boost and thought it wouldn’t be very expensive to implement.
Skutt said they are looking at treating about 35-40 acres of forest surrounding the hospital for fire safety.