South Central Kansas Medical Center saw a second month of losses from its Senior Health Unit in February.

Since its inception in December 2016, the unit has had only three months in which it did not result in a profit.

Last month, the unit had a total loss of $6,461, the SCKMC Board of Trustees learned Thursday morning.

SCKMC Chief Financial Officer Holly Harper and Chief Executive Officer Virgil Watson cited extended stays in the unit as the reason.

Individuals who are admitted into the unit generally stay for less than 12 days, but there have been some staying for longer.

“We can’t find a place for them to go,” Watson said of the patients whose need to stay in the unit had passed.

The reimbursement rate for these patients changes if the patient stays past a certain number of days, he explained.

“Sometimes a patient needs to stay (that long),” Watson added.

Lab outreach payback

SCKMC has begun to repay money previously paid to it through a lab outreach program that was started in February 2017.

The program initially showed a $1.1 million profit, but last November, SCKMC administrators announced the program would be discontinued.

“On the lab outreach, the million (in) revenue, how much of that is going to be paid (back) out?” City Manager Nick Hernandez asked at the November 2017 meeting of the SCKMC Board of Trustees.

“About $900,000,” Watson told him at the time. However, that number has increased to nearly the entire profit that originally was reported.

Even though the hospital has been paying the money back, it still owes $900,000 in repayment to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas.

In other business, the SCKMC trustees:

  • approved the March 1 meeting minutes.
  • heard a quality performance report from Shayla McDonald, director of quality performance and risk management.
  • heard reports from Watson and chief of staff Dr. Perry Lin.
  • heard a report on the Cowley HealthWoRX Direct Primary Care clinic from Marketing Director Clayton Pappan.
  • heard an employment report from Human Resources Manager Krista Carrillo.
  • held an executive session to discuss matters of non-elected personnel and receive a risk management report.
  • unanimously approved $22,854.60 in bad debt, which will be sent to collections.

Hernandez and board member Dr. Nick Rogers were absent from the meeting.