November 04, 2009 Edition

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LHS Board approves creation
of new family visitation room

The Board of Governors for Lawrence Health Services approved the purchase of furniture to create a resident and family visitation room during its meeting on Oct. 26. The room will be located in Lawrence Hall Nursing Center.

The plan calls for the creation of several individual sitting areas with sofas and side chairs as well as four small dining tables in the former 300-hall dining room. This new room will allow friends and family to have a visitation or gathering area outside of the resident's room.

The board unanimously approved an expenditure of $18,405 for the proposed furnishings plus additional funds for new blinds and a television for the area.

The board also heard that the LHNC quality assurance measures were very close to target. It was noted that additional precautions are being taken to minimize infection rates since the onset of the flu season.

The current resident count stands at 169 with one bed available. The facility is licensed for 189 beds but less are set up due to the demand for private rooms.

Board reviews audit report

Susan Miller, CPA, a partner with BKD, LLP, CPAs and Advisors, told the board that Lawrence Health Services ended the fiscal year on June 30 with a positive bottom line of $481,471.

LHS includes Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Lawrence Hall Nursing Center, Lawrence Memorial Health Foundation, Home Medical Equipment and Northeast Arkansas Service Company. It was noted that the income figure included the sales tax revenue.

"It is good to have a net income," LHS President Terry Lambert said. "Such a small income does not go far when trying to give employees raises, purchase equipment and complete building upgrades."

Miller reviewed their Management Representation Letter outlining areas for improvement, focusing mainly on internal controls. She commended management for the many improvements made from the previous year's report.

Monthly financial operations suffer

Vanessa Wagner, chief financial officer, reported the net loss for the month of September totaled $136,612. While expenses were within line, revenue was down more than anticipated.

Lambert noted that two physicians were on vacation during the month, and the patient load was negatively affected.

The year to date (three months) bad debt expense was reported to be $229,413. Deductions from revenue, which include the difference in charges and the amounts paid by Medicare, Medicaid and insurance companies as well as charity care, totaled $1,438,810, which was over budget by $154,551.

In other business:

  • the board discussed issues relating to physician call coverage. They were updated on a plan to use Emergency Department physicians to relieve the load for active staff physicians on the weekend and holidays.

    Several board members plan to meet with the active medical staff to discuss call issues and how both groups can work together to assure continued and improved access for the citizens of this area.

  • Wilma Jones, chairman of the Foundation reported that the annual golf tournament was held on Oct. 21. She thanked the participants and the many sponsors. The major sponsors were First National Bank of Walnut Ridge and The Credit Bureau of Jonesboro.

    Net proceeds are expected to be approximately $10,000. This year the funds will go toward the planned patient room renovation project.

    The board discussed the need for funds to renovate patient rooms but also discussed the ongoing desire to update clinical equipment in various departments, such as radiology, laboratory and the specialty clinic.

  • Lila Floyd, chairman of the Golden Jubilee Campaign, gave a report on the plans for a Foundation Gala to be held on Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. in the Lawrence County Community Room.

    This committee is working on fund-raising for the patient room renovations. She informed the board that all of the Foundation Board members had voted to support the campaign and had all agreed to make personal contributions.

    Hearing that, the full board voted to affirm their support including personal financial contributions. The Foundation has already pledged $5,000, the cost to renovate one room. In addition, the hospital Auxiliary has also pledged $5,000.

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