Surgical suite construction progressing well

Tammy Keele

Three Rivers Health Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tadd Greenfield reported a second consecutive month of negative revenue during Thursday’s regular meeting of the South Big Horn Hospital District’s board of directors.

The CEO relayed the bad news of negative Earnings before Interest Taxes Depreciation and Amortization (Ebita) in the amount of $68,286.72 while presenting March financials. During his presentation Greenfield attributed the shortfall to “soft volumes.” Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Susan Novack read from the CEO’s board report. “The decrease of revenue is tied directly to lower-than-expected swing bed and hospital volumes, the nursing home census as well.” On a positive note, Novack went on to read the year-to-date EBITA numbers currently reflect a surplus of $3,298,268.41.

Despite two months in the red, Three Rivers Health is pushing forward with its goal to obtain providers and offer specialized services for their patients. The CEO announced negotiations have been in the works to bring oncology provider Carletta Collins, M.D., on board. He hopes to have a contract with the Alabama School of Medicine graduate soon. This would allow cancer patients the option to be seen locally as early as next month. Dr. Collins has an established practice at Powell Valley Healthcare and is well liked by all, according to Greenfield. This would be a “win” for the hospital, commented the CEO. “The more we can do here, the better it is for our community members.”

Greenfield offered an update on providers that have contracted with Three Rivers Health. The CEO remarked that clinic provider Dr Robertson had a successful first day clinic April 13 and the facility is looking forward to Dr. Scott’s first day in the clinic May 10. The CEO also noted Dr Stacey Martin, not yet under contract, is scheduled to work a few shifts at the hospital May 19 and 20.

While providing the current status of the surgical suite Greenfield relayed construction is moving rapidly. He also commented that although the construction portion of the project has gone smoothly there have been significant cost adjustments for supplies. As an example, the CEO mentioned the cost of siding “went up from $26,000 to $46,000 overnight.” Referring to the continuing increase in material costs the CEO noted that many of the supplies were ordered in advance. “I think we started it at about just the right time,” said Greenfield.

The surgical suite manager, Rosie Ross briefly addressed the group and provided a short history of her experience and how she is utilizing her expertise to focus on regulations and ensure the facility is adhering to all rules and guidelines. Plant Operations Manager Mark Schlattmann said he has been working closely with Ross to procure equipment as well as prepare administratively to be patient ready upon project completion. Ross states working together they have been able to shave $30,000-$40,000 of the capital budget.

John Hauck, a CPA with Eilde Baily of Billings, presented a report from the facility’s audit. The 30-minute presentation compared years 2019 to 2020. During his disposition the CPA also noted suggestions based on audit findings.

In other business, Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) Linda Walker shared a brochure that was created to explain and promote the hospital’s swing bed program. Walker said the facility has been working diligently to contact hospitals and remind them this service is available to patients that live in the area.

Chief Talent Officer (CTO) Tamara Sawyer revealed a recognition program in the works that will identify and acknowledge staff for exceptional service that aligns with Three Rivers Health values. Per Sawyer managers will nominate staff that has gone above and beyond, a committee will be appointed to review nominees and two staff members per month will be chosen to receive recognition and a monetary bonus of $500. “We are trying to do some more steps to show what our employees are doing here because they are doing quite exceptional work.” Sawyer told the board.

The meeting was adjourned prior to an executive session to discuss personnel.

The hospital board meets the fourth Thursday of the month at 5:30 p.m. in the board room.