BWWMH continuing preparations for Adult-Psych unit

No action was taken at the meeting of the Tombigbee Healthcare Authority board of directors Thursday, but reports from the administration brought members up to date on activities that will affect Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital.

CEO Art Evans said Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama will be increasing its in-patient reimbursement rate for Medicare patients from $1,300 per day to $2,822 daily beginning Oct. 1. He qualified the news by saying that it is very difficult to get approval for inpatient care from the insurance giant.

BC/BS will be changing other reimbursement for Geri-Psych and Adult-Psych patients as well, Evans continued.

Preliminary work on the Adult Psych unit is continuing with visits to other sites and investigating how to pay for the unit. Board chairman Jay Shows commended several members for paving the way to contact both government and private sources of funding.

As of July 1 the hospital began using Press Ganey to conduct its patient satisfaction surveys and educate areas of the hospital on how to improve services for its clients.

Evans said the first surveys are being returned for evaluation. Press Ganey is making no telephone surveys. Only mailed forms are being used.

To meet new regulatory requirements of CT scans, the unit at the hospital will undergo a $15,000 upgrade by Jan. 1, 2016. Evans said the Toshiba CT at the hospital will be modified to measure the dosage any patient receives. If it is not completed by the deadline, the hospital immediately loses $24,000 in Medicare reimbursement.

With the second special session of the Alabama legislature coming up, the Alabama Hospital Association is asking supporters to flood representatives and senators with post cards asking them not to cut Medicaid funding.

Evans displayed post cards at the meeting and encouraged all board members to sign and mail them. He said the AHA hopes to have 1,000 post cards delivered to each legislator.

John Laney was commissioned by the hospital to conduct a strategic study of the facility, including possible financial sources and the introduction of new product lines. He made the report during the executive session.