Annual Rural Health Clinic meeting held in Hyannis
The annual Rural Health Clinic (RHC) advisory board meeting for the Greater Nebraska Medical & Surgical Services Hyannis Clinic was held Tuesday, November 6, at Sandhill State Bank. Attending the meeting were advisory board members Chairman Cliff Dailey, Lyle Burton, Alice Dubs, and Kim Abbott, BBGH CEO Lori Mazanec, COO Jim Bargen, GNMSS Clinic Manager Joni Sautter, Administrative Assistant Brittany Stull and Marketing representative Brian Kuhn. Ms. Sautter called the meeting to order at 12 noon.
Last year’s meeting minutes for both boards were reviewed and approved.
Ms. Mazanec started the meeting with an update on physician recruitment efforts and staff at the Hyannis Clinic. “Abby Vogel, APRN-BC, is currently out, so Kristin Ferguson, APRN-BC will be filling in until Abby’s return,” Ms. Mazanec said. “We’ll stick with the current schedule of every Wednesday since that is what the community is used to.” Having the clinic banner flag placed in front of the building when it is open helps. She said Dr. Steve Boyer of Mullen joined GNMSS in April, practicing in Alliance Wednesdays through Fridays. “We are actively recruiting additional physicians, including two Family Practice/Obstetrics physicians.” She mentioned her Master’s program included a capstone project on the difficulty of recruiting physicians to rural areas. “The project resulted in working to develop a better work-life balance for our medical staff,” she said. “Right now, they see patients in every service aspect, from on-call to seeing inpatients and outpatients. Most physicians now want to focus on either inpatient or outpatient services. So I recommended to our Trustees to implement a Hospitalist program. In December, BBGH began an e-Hospitalist program through Bryan Telemedicine, covering the night shift for our medical staff.” More recently, the hospital is finalizing contract negotiations with an Internal Medicine physician that will be a day time Hospitalist at BBGH, who will hopefully be able to start sometime in December. The hospital continues to reach out to first year residents for long-term planning. A brief discussion was held on what would need to take place for a physician to come an additional day or half day to Hyannis.
Ms. Sautter discussed new roles being taken on by nurses, with Ms. Vogel having a new nurse attending her when she comes back from leave. Her current nurse, Kendra Bixby, will take on a new role as a pre-authorization nurse in the clinic, which should allow other nurses in the clinic more time to focus on patients. She will also be helping with the clinic’s Accountable Care Organization (ACO), which the hospital joined at the beginning of the year. ACOs are a group of facilities that work together to meet quality measures mandated through the Affordable Care Act.
Ms. Mazanec presented the volume/statistics and financial reports for the Hyannis Clinic. She said three clinics of GNMSS saw a 22.5 percent volume increase of patient encounters for the fiscal year. Hyannis saw a minimal decrease in volume of less than one percent, with just one less clinic encounter from the previous year of 155. Total patient revenue was $33,185 compared to $32,244 budgeted. The operating loss was $30,000 less than budgeted, coming in at $61,725, favorable for a Rural Health Clinic.
After Joni presented her chart review report (which had no issues) and reporting that the clinics have adopted a more robust form for charting, she mentioned she and Ms. Stull had recently attended a Rural Health Clinic “boot camp” where they both passed an exam making them both Certified Rural Health Care Professionals. There are only 150 such professionals certified in the United States.
A brief discussion was held on the condition of the Hyannis Clinic’s building, with no issues reported. He urged the hospital to try to have the clinic open more hours during the week if more physicians are successfully recruited. He was presented the clinic’s Policy and Procedures manual for review and signature, a requirement for Rural Health Clinic status.
With no further business, Ms. Sautter adjourned the meeting at 12.47pm.
Box Butte General Hospital is an equal opportunity provider and employer.