BWWMH prepared for mandated coding changes

In his report to the board Thursday night, Bryan. W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital CEO Art Evans said the hospital is ready for the new coding requirements effective Wednesday, Oct. 1.

All hospitals in the nation are required to switch to the new system. Instead of the 10,000 codes now being used, the new system has up to 100,000 detailed codes for patient ailments.

Preparations for the change began months ago, said Evans. “We feel confident we’re ready.”

Evans said the 2016 budget still has some issues to iron out but is will be ready for board approval at the next meeting.

CVS will begin its partnership with the hospital on Oct. 1 for the 340-B program, and Evans said Raymond Boone with Boone Pharmacy is investigating the program as well. If Boone agrees, the earliest it will go into effect is Jan. 1, 2016.

The 340-B is a federal program that allows primarily rural hospitals to purchase drugs at reduced rates, below those of any pharmacy or major retailer. The program also allows discounts for any prescriptions written for specified patients by hospital physicians.

Evans presented the format that the patient satisfaction survey will take now that the firm Press Ganey is conducting the research. The survey covers the emergency department, home health care, inpatient, outpatient and behavioral health, he said.

Press Ganey uses mailed survey and has a 25-30 percent return, continued Evans.

The hospital’s Wellness Center will celebrate 30 years of service with a reception Sunday, Oct. 11, from 2-5 p.m., announced assistant administrator Derek Morrison.

He also reported the new chiller will go on line by Oct. 1. The 750-ton unit cost $409,000.

Kelly Henderson is the Employee of the Month, and hospital employees are taking part in a Pay-It-Forward campaign, which began Sept. 11, by donating to a canned food drive.

Evans said the hospital is providing breakfast Sept. 25 for the Demopolis High School football team.

The board went into executive session to discuss, among other issues, a policy to address disruptive behavior from physicians.