December Was A Good Month For WCH Finances

By Alex Haglund

The Washington County Hospital Board of Directors held their monthly meeting for January on Tuesday, Jan. 27. Total patient revenue was up for the month of Decemberby 10-percent over budget and Hospital Chief Financial Officer Elaine Matzenbacher reported an income for the month of $90,683, with year-to-date income at $166,288.

While locally, financial news was good, Matzenbacher did say that WCH was having difficulties with accounts payable, Medicaid payments in particular.

As of December, the state of Illinois is behind by 156.5 days on their medicaid payments, “so we’re almost half a year behind,” said Matzenbacher.

Matzenbacher answered board members’ questions regarding a spike in employee compensation of approximately $12,000.

The raises approved by the board which have now gone into effect have had an effect on the value or liability of employees’ accrued vacation time. Matzenbacher said that this could be expected following any raises.

Meaningful Use

Chief Information Officer Kim Larkin reported to the board on Meaningful Use and WCH’s work at meeting Electronic Health Record (EHR) requirements specified by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“We’re running about 4.8, 4.9, 5-percent on the Patient Portal usage percentage,” said Larkin. Five percent patient average yearly participation in the Portal is required by the ACA.

Larkin stated that other metrics specified by Meaningful Use were much higher than that.

Director Jim Cange asked Larkin about issues that WCH has been having with NextGen, the makers of the software suite that WCH uses for her

Larkin said that some of the issues that they had presented to NextGen were being ruled as “enhancements” by the company and not problems or the system being broken. Larkin did state that instance of the software actually being “broken” had decreased somewhat.

However, Larkin , added, WCH had been experiencing performance issues with NextGen software.

Larkin stated that a NextGen representative would be visiting WCH soon and that she hoped to be able to show them how long the software took to load for hospital nurses.

For More, Please Read The Feb. 4 Edition Of The Nashville News.

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