Fayette County Memorial Hospital had a successful 2018 on several levels, according to CEO Mike Diener. The most notable is a $4.4 million dollar bottom line improvement from the previous calendar year.
The positive bottom line is due to several factors, including an 18.7% growth in outpatient service line revenue and a positive shift in the overall hospital payer mix. Working to improve the mix of payers, especially through increasing the percentage of revenue generated by private payers, has significantly helped support the facility’s bottom line.
Chief Financial Officer, Trent Lemle, explained that with growth comes an increase in operational expenses. Due to the significant growth there was an increase in labor costs and in supplies necessary to care for our patients. “Although total expenses exceeded budget, given the growth, our total spend as a percentage of patient revenue improved significantly from the prior year” said Lemle. “Maintaining this level of operating efficiency in the midst of strong growth definitely plays into the overall success of the bottom line.”
While the final audit is not complete, early figures indicate the hospital ended 2018 with a $3.2 million dollar positive bottom line and a 6.2% operating margin. This represents a $4.4 million dollar improvement over the previous year. Diener notes that nationally, hospitals of this size are seeing an average of around 2.74% operating margin. In regard to patient care, Diener reports several achievements were made on national measures and the organization’s own internal goals. The National Core Measures are areas in which FCMH is compared to all other hospitals in the nation. FCMH’s amount of time to get a radiologist’s interpretation of a CT scan done on a suspected stroke patient was better than the national average.
The hospital matched the national average for percentage of hospitalized patients receiving or refusing the flu shot, and for getting an EKG for patients showing signs of a heart attack or complaining of chest pains. The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) showed FCMH inpatient satisfaction was 2% above the national average in the area of communication with nurses. Staff responsiveness to patient needs and education to patients about medication both scored 1% above the national average.
FCMH has its own set of internal goals which are standards for patient care, in which it did quite well, reports Diener. FCMH far surpassed its goal of medication errors with .03% for the year. The rate of patient falls was kept to a low .32%, at the same time increasing the rate of assessing patients for fall risk by 3%. Unplanned admissions after surgery was 0.15%, which is well below the 1% goal. In 2018 three patients out of 1,957 surgeries had an unplanned overnight stay due to complications.
Other highlights from the year include:
· Moving MRI services to the surgery center, which resulted in a larger, more comfortable MRI unit with in-hospital access.
· Entering into partnership affiliation with Adena Health System, bringing specialty providers to the community and allowing collaboration for best practices and staff training.
· Contracting Emergency Department (ED) coverage with Community Emergency Medicine Partners, which has brought in new providers for the over 17,000 ED patients who visit FCMH annually.
· Implementing Walk-In Wednesdays at the Women’s Wellness Center for gynecological concerns that can’t wait for an appointment. As a result the WalkIn clinic has seen an average of eight patients per week for issues such as pregnancy testing, and STD testing and treatment.
· Receiving $44,733 in equipment and training from the FCMH Foundation. Donations have included but are not limited to a mammography chair, AccuVein unit for quicker blood draws, an audio booth for hearing test, a scale for the ED and therapy equipment purchased with the assistance of a grant from the Aladdin Shriners.
· Medical & Surgical Associates received a top-tier designation from the National Rural Accountable Care Consortium, making it among the select 15% of enrolled practices to receive the designation. The award was based in part on the practice’s ability to increase the number of Medicare patients receiving an annual wellness visit.
· Adding Senior Life Solutions, a program aimed at helping adults over the age of 65 cope with symptoms of depression and anxiety related to aging.
“I am extremely proud of our caregivers and the entire FCMH team who have made 2018 such a success,” said Diener. “They truly put into action our mission of being the health and wellness provider of choice in Fayette County.” Diener says the staff has been focused on the 2019 goals from the start of the year.
“There is a lot of work being done behind the scenes on our goals of improving patient satisfaction, exceeding the national average on sepsis care, increasing patient encounters, growing financial prosperity and providing health education to the community.” To help keep the FCMH team accountable, Diener has asked that progress toward the goals be posted around the campus for patients and visitors to see, “Our success is due in large part to our staff, but also to the community who supports us, so we hope they will continue to hold us accountable for great care in Fayette County.”
Other goals on the horizon for FCMH, according to Diener, include maximizing opportunities to partner with Adena Health System in Fayette County, adding more providers, making upgrades to the operating rooms, continuing the Emergency Department renovation plans and consolidating the Same Day Care and Family Practice in Medical Arts Building 2 for greater efficiencies.