The Aug. 23 meeting of the South Central Kansas Medical Center Board of Trustees marked the first meeting with interim Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bowman and the last meeting for Holly Harper as the chief financial officer of SCKMC.

Jeff Bowman

Bowman

Bowman started his duties at the hospital on Aug. 20 after the abrupt departure of former CEO Virgil Watson.

After an executive session, the trustees unanimously approved a separation agreement between SCKMC and Watson, in which he will receive six months of pay, as well as payment for 220 hours of accrued paid time off.

So far, Bowman said, he has been putting in 14-hour days, including the board meeting and a town hall meeting that night for the sales tax question. “I am so impressed with the staff,” he said prior to the start of the meeting. “They are a great group of people.”

He still is settling in to his position and getting up to speed on current events at SCKMC, and so did not have a formal report for the board yet.

The board also unanimously approved a contract with Bowman that will last for six months, with a month-to-month option after the initial period to continue serving as the CEO of SCKMC. He will be paid $9,000 per month for the duration of the contract.

Finally, they unanimously approved an agreement in which Harper will continue to provide financial consultation services to SCKMC.

SCKMC financial improvement

Harper presented some good news — an unexpected payment of $441,000 that SCKMC received last month from Medicare has moved reimbursements 1 percent higher than was seen for all of 2017. Thus, it is possible that the hospital might see a profit of $500,000 in 2018.

“That’s kind of exciting,” said board chairman Dan Jurkovich. “(But) I don’t want to dance just yet.”

Harper indicated a dance still might be in order.

“Medicare is paying you $290,000 tomorrow,” she said, relating a conversation she had earlier in the week with the billers.

“Sure enough, the next morning, it hit the bank.”

The $294,000 payment was a back payment for claims that previously were underpaid and it will show up on the August books, which will be viewed at a board meeting in September.

In addition, $140,000 also has been sent for payment due through other Medicare programs that previously had underpaid.

Chief of staff pops in, out

SCKMC chief of medical staff Dr. Paul Klaassen attended a small portion of the meeting, but he did not arrive until after the agenda section for the medical executive committee’s staff report had been reached.

Klaassen was able to answer questions regarding a credentialing situation involving Dr. Mauricio Herrera, but the bulk of his report was delivered by Medical Staff Coordinator Ryan Helmer.

The trustees voted unanimously to authorize Bowman to give Herrera temporary privileges while they sort out the bylaws that had created the credentialing issue.

They also unanimously approved the committee’s recommendations for credentialing, apart from a special credential for departing Dr. Perry Lin. More details are being looked into his situation before any action will be taken.

Klaassen left the meeting immediately after his report, once the board commenced its first executive session. He did not return.

In other business, the trustees:

  • unanimously approved three sets of meeting minutes, one each for the meetings held on Aug. 13, 14 and 15.
  • voted unanimously to send $59,069.79 to collections.
  • heard a human resources report showing many jobs currently open at SCKMC, not all of which are medical in nature. There are three accounting-related positions open, as well as several jobs in the kitchen and housekeeping departments.
  • held an executive session for matters of attorney-client privilege related to employment contracts.
  • held an executive session to discuss contracts with Winfield Medical Arts and Quality Health Care (QHC), the company that provides care in SCKMC’s Senior Health Unit.
  • approved an amendment to the contract with QHC following the executive session.
  • held an executive session to receive a risk management report.