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Audrain Medical Center discusses hospital affiliation

Posted on Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 9:04 am

Courtesy of the Centralia Fireside Guard

In a way it was an elemental meeting. A pair of elements, water and vacuum, shared the spotlight during the May meeting of the Audrain Medical Center Board of Trustees.
One vacuum they discussed filling was the process of finding a health care corporation with which to affiliate the hospital.
Staff are being told the hospital is not for sale, that it would be an affiliation.
Whatever the case, on May 8 and 9, AMC medical staff members had a series of meetings with two representatives of Newpoint Healthcare Advisors, the firm retained by AMC’s Board of Directors to market the hospital.
David Neuendorf, AMC’s president, discussed the process in his report to the trustees.
According to trustees’ draft minutes, the first meetings included at least 40 medical staff members, board leaders and executive staff members.
One representative will return for meetings on June 19 and 20.
According to the minutes “Meetings will be expanded and conversations will be held with local leaders in Mexico and the surrounding area. They will also meet with city officials and clergy.”
Community leaders, said the minutes, from Laddonia Martinsburg and Vandalia are supposed to be included.
Neuendorf told the trustees that a letter of intent should be signed by Jan. 1, 2013. “How much regulatory dealings will be involved will determine how soon everything is finalized.”
Trustee Jo Ellen Craghead’s discussion of her recent hospital tour addressed another vacuum, the clinical vacuum supply for the hospital’s emergency and operating rooms.
It is a three-pump system that costs approximately $9,000 a year to maintain, she said. One aspect of the maintenance expense, Craghead said, was the carbon filters, five per pump, which cost $1,200 a year to replace.
Craghead also touched on the water, when she addressed the state of the roofs over the Stribling and Public Health buildings.
Both buildings were last roofed in 1993, she said. The Public Health building with “25-year” shingles, while the Stribling House received a rubber roof. She said both show a “need for replacement.”
In other business the board learned:
• Medicare has approved $1.7 million in “meaningful use” money for AMC, which the hospital should, Neuendorf said, receive in June. A hospital spokesperson explained that “Demonstrating meaningful use of an electronic health record (EHR) in the hospital is required to obtain partial reimbursement from both the Medicare and Medicaid programs for the cost of the EHR system.”
• The Heart to Heart Luncheon on May 3 was attended by 250 people and raised approximately $18,000 for cardiac rehab equipment
• The AMC Foundation golf tournament is scheduled for June 15.
Funds raised by the tournament will be used to purchase new recliners and chairs for patient rooms.