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Section A: General News


Hospital board approves RHA as new health-care provider


Hospital board approves RHA as new health-care provider
Connally Memorial Medical Center CEO Brian Burnside


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WCN Correspondent
March 26, 2014
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The Wilson Memorial Hospital District board of directors has approved contracting with a new health insurance provider for district employees.

Brian Burnside, chief executive officer of the Connally Memorial Medical Center, said that after learning the district’s current insurance carrier planned to raise costs by 29 percent, the personnel committee looked at 22 other carriers.

“We came to a single recommendation: RHA,” Burnside said. “RHA will save us 12 percent over current costs.”

Noting that the RHA was a “family operation” that had been in business since 1993, he said the committee recommended a one-year contract.

Board member Tommy Soriero said, “If it’s a good deal, we ought to get as long a period as we can.”

Other board members agreed. Amy Clark made a motion to accept the personnel committee’s health benefits recommendation, with an added recommendation to discuss an extension to the contract. This received unanimous board approval.

Earlier in the meeting, Burnside presented February’s balance sheet, which showed a net asset total of $14,633,217, an increase of $123,460 over the previous month and an increase of $2,964,396 over February 2013.

Burnside also shared some data from the Texas Hospital Association that compared the Connally Memorial Medical Center with other hospitals of similar size.

“We are doing relatively well,” Burnside said. “We are in the top half of most [categories] and the top third of many.”

Burnside said that out of 16 financial indicators the THA used, Connally ranked 88th out of 258 in financial performance, 29th out of 80 in debt service coverage, and 58th out of 269 in operational expense per discharge.

In the total performance score for Medicare patients, Connally ranked 83rd out of 284, according to the THA report.

Burnside explained that the differences in total numbers came about because not all hospitals report information in every category or have enough information to factor into the report.

“We’ve done a lot to rebalance our organization,” Burnside said. “Relative to other facilities, we’re doing very, very well. ... This is 100-percent third-party data for hospitals of comparative size.”

In other matters, board President Ronnie Eckel suggested a strategic planning meeting since the last one was about 10 months ago.

“Things are changing so fast -- EMS, outpatient surgery, pediatrics -- shouldn’t we be looking at a five- or 10-year plan?” he asked. Other board members seemed to agree.

“We didn’t have the hospital doctors at the last one,” Eckel continued. “They need to be brought into these meetings.”

Burnside said he would pursue the idea.

In other action, the board formally approved the February financial reporting package and approved a list of appointments and reappointments to the medical staff.
 

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