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Posted on Apr 4, 2019

QVMC board approves step toward agreement with Samaritan

The board of commissioners of Grant County Public Hospital District 2 on March 25 took another step forward in the process of aligning Quincy Valley Medical Center with Samaritan Healthcare of Moses Lake.
Board president Randy Zolman called the March 25 commissioners’ meeting to order with only two other commissioners present: Don Condit and Robert Poindexter.
Samaritan and QVMC have been working on drafts of a management services agreement over the past few months. The QVMC commissioners did not discuss the management services agreement on the March 25 board meeting agenda but voted and approved it.
After the meeting, Condit explained that commissioners have seen a draft of a management services agreement, and the latest vote was about another piece of it.
“I think everybody was pretty happy with what we saw,” he said.
Samaritan’s board has to go through a similar process of review. It will take another month probably, Condit said, of the back-and-forth process between Samaritan and QVMC to arrive at an agreement on management services.
In a regular board meeting agenda item, Kelly Robison, director of quality, spoke about her Quality Improvement report. She had created charts for the commissioners based on patient survey results in 2018 for the clinic, emergency department and physical therapy office.
The emergency department survey results, for instance, were based on 30 patient survey responses to questions asking for graded responses, “poor” to “great,” on aspects of the patient’s experience, such as: facility neat and clean; time in waiting room; and pain management. On the 10 questions, the results were all 80-100 percent rated great. For the clinic, results were almost as high, with the eight question areas being rated good or great. The physical therapy patient surveys results were similarly high.
The annual QI program culminates in a long staff meeting reviewing the previous year and discussion of plans for the next. Commenting on the annual program, CEO Glenda Bishop said, “I really appreciate the direction that Kelly has taken the quality program.”
The board approved the QI report.
Moving down meeting agenda, there was some discussion of the bad debt figure for February, about $140,000. Zolman said the usual range for the monthly amount sent to collections is $70,000 to $140,000.
Continuing discussion of finances, Condit said QVMC has had a consultant, Jim Heilsberg, helping the board on financial issues for the past two years and described his contribution as a great help.
February ended in the red for QVMC, but, Condit said, “I think we are off to a decent start this year.”
The official meeting minutes showed a loss in January of about $22,000 on the month.
After the meeting, Condit said a slow start to the beginning of a year is typical.
In other QVMC business on the March 25 agenda:
• A contract with Darktrace, a cyber-security company, and a negotiated savings of $500 a month in the agreement, was discussed.
• The upgrade to digital radiology was discussed, with Bishop calling it “a great step up for us.” A slide was projected on a screen showing on the left side an old image compared to a new image on the right, illustrating the advantages the digital radiology image. Zolman described how the new images can be modified or highlighted as needed.
• Bishop talked about a transition in the laboratory to a new information system.
• Dr. Mary Klingner began working March 4. Bishop said an open house for the new physician would be planned.

By Dave Burgess,