CEO Arthur Frable updated the board as follows:
- 340 Program. Humboldt General Hospital has qualified for the government's 340B program as of October 1. The 340B Drug Discount Program is a federal government program created in 1992 that requires drug manufacturers to provide outpatient drugs to eligible health care organizations and covered entities at significantly reduced prices.
- Anesthesia Billing. The hospital will now contract with a separate company to do its anesthesia billing. The chosen company currently services over 400 anesthesia providers. HGH Director of Anesthesia Services Mark Reyka told board members the company will not only capture income for the hospital, but will help the hospital stay legally compliant with new rules and regulations. The two-year contract will be effective November 1.
- WIC Expansion. The hospital is working with the University of Las Vegas School of Medicine Family Medicine Residency Program to gain approval for the hospital's Physician Residents to work in the HGH Walk-In Clinic. With the change, the WIC would expand in the future to include evening and weekend hours.
- Pharmacy Expansion. CTA Architects will be on site October 31 to review the creation of a new Pharmacy Department within the current Physical Therapy Department. Regulations require that a pharmacy include bathroom facilities within the department; accordingly, the hospital hopes a bathroom that is currently used by the Hospitalist physicians can be incorporated into the plan.
- Retirement. Dr. Curtiss Mull, one of Humboldt General Hospital's orthopedic surgeons, will retire in May or June of 2019. A new orthopedic physician will be coming to tour HGH on November 9.
- Pain Management Clinic. Andrew Wesley, MD will visit HGH on Friday, November 2, to discuss possibly establishing a pain management clinic at Humboldt General Hospital. The clinic would begin at two days per month.
- Reduced Cost Labs. Starting Friday, November 16, Humboldt General Hospital will begin offering reduced cost lab screenings on the first and third Fridays of each month. Panels for men and women will be offered at a cash- or credit-only cost of $98 each; insurance will not be billed. Each Friday's "clinic" will run from 7:30 a.m. to noon in the HGH Sarah Winnemucca Conference Room. Trustee Bill Hammargren commented he has been working on the reduced labs project for five years.
- EmCare Contract. In response to a question from Chairman JoAnn Casalez, CEO Frable said the hospital will give EmCare, the company that currently provides Emergency Department physician services, notice that it will be considering other ER staffing options. Mr. Frable said the hospital can meet the deadlines necessary to terminate its relationship with EmCare, if necessary.
The board approved the Consent Agenda, including approving the board meeting minutes for September 10, 2018, and September 25, 2018, as well as this month's medical staff applications. The voting was unanimous.
Business Items-Other Reports
Humboldt General's old water softener
1. Hospital Administration-Maintenance / proposals from T.L. Snyder Enterprises and Culligan Water to supply, install and plumb a new commercial grade water softener for the laundry / Administrator-Maintenance Director - Board trustees unanimously approved the purchase of a new water softener for the hospital's laundry room after HGH Maintenance was told it was no longer repairable. Both T.L. Snyder Enterprises and Culligan Water submitted bids; Snyder Plumbing was the low bidder. The hospital does 1,000 pounds of laundry a day.
The roof at 1145 Harmony Road in need of repair
2. Hospital Administration-Maintenance / proposal from LaVoie Roofing, Inc. to remove old roof and install new roofing materials on the house and storage shed at 1145 Harmony Road / Administrator-Maintenance Director - Board trustees unanimously approved a proposal from LaVoie Roofing, Inc. to replace the wood shake roofs on the house and storage shed at 1145 Harmony Road at a cost of $19,000. HGH Maintenance Director Duane Grannis said LaVoie Roofing was the only bidder who responded; the project was budgeted for $40,000.
3. Hospital Administration-Emergency Services / EMS request to enter into and sign an interlocal agreement with the Nevada Department of Transportation to use the NDOT statewide radio system / EMS Director - Board trustees unanimously approved an interlocal cooperative agreement between the Nevada Department of Transportation and the hospital district for HGH EMS Rescue to use the state's emergency radio system while units travel the statewide highway system. The agreement spells out the responsibilities of both organizations as well as the payment of some user fees. The agreement will now be turned over to NDOT for final review and approval.
4. Hospital Administration-Physician Services / request to amend the terms and conditions of the agreement with C. Robert Westling, M.D. to provide physician services / Administrator - Board trustees unanimously approved a proposal to amend the agreement with Dr. Robert Westling, which will allow him to remain at HGH in the capacity of a preceptor to the University of Las Vegas Family Medicine Residency Program through September 2020. As part of the proposal, Dr. Westling will not see patients; his sole responsibility will be to oversee the residency program. Additionally, he will work four days a week; the hospital will pay off any remaining student loan debt at the end of his term; and he will continue to receive the maximum allowable PERS through the term of the contract. Dr. Brad Granath, who is the site director for the Family Medicine Residency Program, said the agreement is a good fit for both the program and the hospital. He said he and Program Director Elissa Palmer are both very pleased with the positive outcome.
5. Hospital Administration-Physician Services / proposed terms and conditions and request to enter into an agreement with Alex Curtis, M.D. to provide physician services / Administrator - Board trustees unanimously approved sending an offer letter to Alex Curtis, MD, to provide Family Practice OB services at Humboldt General Hospital. Dr. Curtis was recruited by Fidelis Partners, a physician recruitment company. He is trained in high volume OB, c-sections and high-risk pediatrics. According to Dr. Brad Granath, he is "eminently qualified and experienced." If Dr. Curtis approves moving forwarding with a contract, the Nevada licensure process is expected to take up to three months.
Trustee Ken Tipton said he was upset that his request to Administration to open up Humboldt General Hospital's employee health insurance to review was ignored. The hospital has been with Prominence for many years and Trustee Tipton said he considered his request a directive. Trustee Michelle Miller said she agreed with Trustee Tipton. She said the hospital has not gone out for a full review of its insurance services in 10 years. She reminded staff that the board agreed every contract would be subject to review.
Trustee Jennifer Hood thanked HGH Social Worker Jennifer Slovernick and HGH Director of Community Education and Development Nicole Maher for working to send out a postcard to all Humboldt County households detailing the warning signs of suicide. That postcard should begin arriving in mailboxes in mid-November.
Board Chairman JoAnn Casalez scheduled HGH CEO Art Frable's annual evaluation for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 28. She directed Trustee Miller to gather information about the CEO goals and Trustee Bill Hammargren to follow up regarding quality improvement. That information will be sent to all board members.