Information recently released by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) shows that Wise Regional Health System’s billing for most procedures is below or on par with that of other hospitals across the region and state.
Wise Regional CEO Steve Summers reported to the hospital board Tuesday evening that Wise Regional’s charges were well within normal ranges compared to national and state averages. He said charges for 17 of WRHS’s 20 most common inpatient procedures are less than the average charge in Texas – and about average of area hospitals including Denton, Grapevine, Fort Worth and Weatherford.
The CMS report, released earlier this month, outlined hospital charges for the 100 most common inpatient procedures billed to Medicare. It was the first time a report of this nature has been released.
The data was collected during fiscal year 2011 and spans 163,065 individual charges recorded at 3,337 hospitals located in 306 metropolitan areas.
“As a hospital system we strive to operate efficiently and keep our charges as low as possible,” Summers said. “This data illustrates that we are achieving our goals and passing the savings on to our patients.”
The full report is available at www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/Medicare-Provider-Charge-Data/.
Summers also told the board the hospital will work with its physicians to help defray the cost of transitioning to electronic medical records.
Wise Regional will be able to fund most of the cost of interfacing individual practitioners’ electronic medical record (EMR) system with the hospital’s system, under current federal rules, he said.
The transition is part of a national initiative to connect all providers of health care electronically, in an effort to improve patient care through better communication between providers.
The board also:
- authorized initial appointments and reappointments to the medical staff for 10 physicians from disciplines of podiatry, neurology, radiology, bariatric surgery, cardiology and psychology, as well as one Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. The action brings the total number of physicians and others on the medical staff to nearly 250.
- updated the hospital’s patient Transfer Policy.
- heard the 2012 audit report from accountant Michael Oatman, who gave the hospital a “clean audit opinion” and noted that Wise Regional is uniquely positioned in an expanding market after posting favorable results in 2012.
- approved a physician recruitment agreement for Dr. Sheilaine Mabanta, M.D. Dr. Mabanta is expected to join Dr. Greg Garrett at the North Texas Cancer Center at Wise, located adjacent to the Wise Regional campus. Dr. Garrett is retiring later this year and with this board approval, Dr. Mabanta will be asked to submit an application to the medical staff to be involved with the oncology program in Wise County.
- appointed three individuals to the Wise Heart Care Inc. board of directors with staggered terms: Jay Bearden for three years; Lesa Warren for two years and Debbie Waggoner for one year. Wise Heart Care Inc. is a subsidiary of Wise Regional which has a small ownership in the hospital’s Cath Lab service.