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Hospice helps families in crisis Syringa Hospice only program between McCall and Lewiston

In other Syringa News

Written and oral reports were given from various additional areas throughout the hospital including the following highlights:

*Chief Financial Officer report:

Syringa Hospital saw 98 acute patient days in August, 15 days or 18 percent above budget. The month also saw 10 swingbed days, three deliveries and five surgeries.

For the month, patient revenues were $1,312,772 or 4.7 percent below projections. However, year-to-date gross patient revenues were $16,636,715, or 9.8 percent over projections.

Charges written off as bad debt were $71,796 while contributions/grants received were $98,261.

*Director of Clinic Operations:

All of Syringa’s providers are taking new patients with the exception of Mark Imus, FNP, and Dr, Dardis, who are each part-time and have a full patient panel.

“We have definitely seen the influx of [retiring] Dr. Hollopeter’s patients and they have been wonderful,” said director Michelle Schaeffer.

“Are we getting patients scheduled in a timely manner?” questioned trustee Hornbeck.

“Definitley – just depending upon the priority. For example, someone who needs their meds filled in six months is getting a later appointment than someone who has a medical issue where they need to see a provider right away. Many appointments are the same week,” Schaeffer explained.

The Syringa Primary Care Clinic has a new automated answering system, which will direct callers to help reduce wait time. Patients can leave messages including prescription information.

*Syringa Foundation report:

Volunteers at the thrift shop had a half-off sale in July and moved a lot of merchandise. Sales were $9,162, 6.5 percent less than August 2014. Volunteer hours totaled 830. Fifty boxes of clothing were sent to the distribution center in Kooskia/Kamiah for area fire victims.

The thrift shop is asking the city of Grangeville for annexation into the city for water use.

The Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation awarded $75,000 to Syringa Foundation for hospital renovation.

*Director of Facilities:

The corridor in the northwest annex is sheet rocked. Paint and wainscoting is being applied and flooring was scheduled for last week. The board is planning a walk-through in the coming month.

*Marketing/Community Relations Report:

Board member Judy Scribner covered the town with fliers for the Kooskia Clinic open house held Oct. 1.

A farewell ad for Dr. Hollopeter was placed in the Sept. 30 edition of the Free Press.

The hospital is working on some radio spots/contracts with KORT and Retro Radio 88.3.

*Chief Nursing Office report:

Syringa recently contracted with PEAK Security in Boise for psychiatric transports.

Dr. Bell and Dr. Bigsby’s surgeries are increasing to two-to-three a month each in order to accommodate the increase in the number of surgeries. The OR staff is working on turnaround time. The OR must be cleared of all trash, instruments, linens and disposable equipment following surgeries. Housekeeping then must mop, scrub and empty all trash. Average turnaround has been decreased to more than an hour to 34-37 minutes.

*Revenue Cycle:

The new coding system set to be completely implemented Oct. 1 was discussed.

Debbie Schlieper joined the coding staff as the new leader who replaces outgoing Toni Sickels. Sickels will remain as a PRN staff through the transition to ICD-1—CM [the new coding system] and to help clean-up back-log.

“Will the old coding system no longer be used at all?” questioned a trustee.

“No – it will be used,” explained CFO Betty Watson. “Anything before Oct. 1 will still have to be coded and referred to with the old system while anything Oct. 1 and later will use the new system.”

Yvonne Robinette-Hoiland, patient financial services manager, talked about how the new code book is so much larger than the previous code system.

“The ICD-10 reflects advances in the medical system with greater details used that are very specific,” she explained.

Some of the more interesting codes? W61.62xA: Struck by duck, initial encounter; W61.33xD: Pecked by chicken, subsequent encounter; W55.41xA: Bitten by pig, initial encounter; V95.43xS: Spacecraft collision injuring occupant; Z62.891: Sibling rivalry; and W56.42xA: Other contact with shark.

— “When someone is on hospice care, hospice is available to them 24-7,” said Cindy Higgins, LSW, director of Syringa Hospice.

Higgins gave an overview of Syringa’s hospice program to the Syringa Hospital board at its regular meeting Sept. 28.

Dr. Danny Griffis is the medical advisor for the program, Higgins explained, and in order for a person to be admitted to the program he must sign off on the fact they are approximately within six months of the end of life.

“Each family is very different in their needs and every program is tailor-made for that specific patient and family,” Higgins added.

Services include doctor and nurse for medical and prescription needs, CNAs for personal care, social services to help with a variety of support services as well as information and help with advanced directives, volunteers who give the caregivers breaks and provide meals and the spiritual aspect currently provided by Rev. Musegades of Trinity Lutheran Church.

“The family chooses which pieces are beneficial to them and decides what they want,” Higgins said.

She explained that insurances generally cover most of the costs including Medicaid, which covers 100 percent of the visits and most medications not associated with the actual end of life care. Hospice memorial donations go toward some prescription costs and equipment needed that may not be covered by insurances.

“What do you do to help the staff with the emotional affects the deaths have on them?” asked trustee Al Bolden.

Higgins said the group – which includes two fulltime and one part-time nurse and two PRNs – have a debriefing session where they discuss the death and the process they went through.

She also said the Syringa Hospice is the only hospice between McCall and Lewiston. Syringa provides services up to 45 minutes away (“That’s in good driving conditions,” Higgins added). This includes Riggins, Clearwater, Kamiah, Grangeville, Cottonwood, Craigmont, Kooskia and Nezperce.

“I really commend you for a very valuable service,” trustee Twila Hornbeck stated.

“Thank you. We try to the best job possible while also making it financially viable,” emphasized Higgins.

The next board meeting is set for Monday, Oct. 26, 12:30 p.m., the Soltman Center. The public is invited.


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