To Medical Center Employees:
We are continuing to carefully monitor our financial situation as we
assess the effectiveness of various cost savings initiatives
implemented to date this fiscal year. We need to continue to focus on
controlling costs and improving operational efficiency while providing
high quality and compassionate care.
During the Jan. 6 communication meeting Steve Hargett, medical center
controller, gave the management team an update on our financial status.
His comments are highlighted in this newsletter. Among other things,
Hargett explained that the State Department of Health and Human
Services’ reimbursement formula (for Medicaid) resulted in overpayment
of hospitals throughout the state and we have to repay for past fiscal
years. This coupled with a reduction in the Medicaid reimbursement
rates has further complicated our financial situation. Also, our
procedure-based gross charges were down in November as a result of
having 10 weekend days and the Thanksgiving holiday during the month.
It’s expected that December will be a better month for procedure-based
charges, even with the holidays. Additional details are included in
We have done a good job in most areas with our patient satisfaction
results. This is something we have to be very attuned to during these
challenging financial times. The table below illustrates the
preliminary results for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2008. Our goal is
to achieve the 80th percentile or higher.
Patient Satisfaction Results
Oct. 1 – Dec. 31, 2008*
68 (N 956)
82 (N 207)
Room 88 (N
87 (N 4417)
Outpatient Behavioral Health 87 (N
*preliminary results—final results expected Jan. 14
We need to fine tune our skills in use of patient satisfaction data and
hone in on areas needing improvement. I ask that directors, service
line administrators and others work closely with their patient
satisfaction (Press Ganey) super users to carefully assess and
communicate patient satisfaction results by all service areas. The
table above illustrates scores based on the date surveys were received,
and I suggest that super users also prepare reports that illustrate
survey results based on discharge or outpatient visit dates.
Thank you very much.
W. Stuart Smith
Vice President for Clinical Operations
and Executive Director, MUSC Medical Center
People—Fostering employee pride and loyalty
Lewis, manager of coding and incomplete records in Health Information
Services/Medical Records and a member of the Joint Commission Survey
Readiness team, spoke to managers about the team’s findings with
current deficiencies that were reported and relate to proper
documentation stemming from locating medical records to accuracy with
dating and documentation of verbal orders (38 percent compliance);
updating patient history and physical information 24-hours prior to
surgery (89 percent); prohibited abbreviations; and other findings with
pain reassessment (76 percent).
Employee Benefit of the Month—January
Helena Bastian, MUHA HR director, reviewed the January Benefit of the
Month —employee perks and discounts. The employee perks and discounts
program, coordinated by MUHA Volunteer Services, provides discounts for
travel/leisure, online shopping (coupons/discounts), car rentals,
florists, banking, cell phone service, partnership memberships (Costco
and Sam’s Wholesale), tickets to special events (Charleston Stingrays,
Charleston County Parks), plus others. Employees can review a complete
list of discounts via the MUHA intranet. For information, call
Contrenia Haynes, 792-7038.
Finance—Providing the highest value to patients while ensuring financial stability
Hargett, medical center controller, gave the financial update for five
months including a monthly accrual for the fiscal year 2005 Medicaid
Disproportionate Share Program overpayment. Medicaid overpaid MUHA and
MUHA is accruing $735,000 a month to make up $9 million. He cited other
reasons for November’s performance reflecting activity. The average
daily hospital census during this period was 532 (up 10 from October);
1,437 inpatient surgeries (1,191 in October); 826 outpatient surgeries
(677 in October) 14,037.
According to Hargett, with less procedural volume (surgeries, etc.),
revenues (gross and net) can go down. He commended staff for their
efforts in controlling productivity. FTEs per adjusted occupied bed
were relatively flat at 6.88 (6.87 in October).
Hargett projects December results to improve, although MUHA also needs
to repay Medicaid for a 2006 overpayment. Every effort is being
made for the hospital to get back to a positive bottom line.
Cash on hand is still very tight. The hospital is expected to receive
news Jan. 8 regarding approval from HUD on the renewal for their
line of credit. Finally, to help better manage our cash, Hargett urged
managers to quickly process invoices for repayment.
- As of Jan. 5, the ART
patient/family shuttle, operated by MUSC-Meducare Transport Services,
has altered and provided direct routes from ART to Rutledge Tower
(stops every 10 minutes); ART to Hollings Cancer Center and the
Clinical Sciences Building ramp (every 15-20 minutes) and ART to
McClennan Banks, Hollings and Clinical Sciences Building ramp (every 30
minutes). With these changes, it is no longer necessary for employees
to call and request shuttle service. Shuttle hours of operation are
from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Beth Grannell, R.N.,
was named the new stroke program manager. Grannell has been a nurse
educator on 7E (9W). She starts in her new role Jan. 19.
- The next meeting is Jan. 13.
Friday, Jan. 9, 2009