Monday night’s meeting of the Decatur Hospital Authority’s governing board gave directors a taste of what will soon be the norm.
On the agenda were equipment purchases for three different hospital campuses: Decatur, Bridgeport and Parkway.
For the flagship Decatur campus, the board voted to buy 10 Hill-Rom Versacare beds for the med-surg unit, a budgeted $78,000 expenditure. They also approved a new sonography unit for Dr. Russell Edwards’ office at $77,740 and approved setting up a “clean room” in the pharmacy for compounding medications at a cost of $29,754.
For the surgical facility that’s under construction at Interstate 35 and North Tarrant Parkway, they purchased a Hill-Rom headwall system at a cost of $179,000.
They also voted to buy a hydrogen peroxide gas sterilizer for sensitive intruments for the Bridgeport campus (formerly North Texas Community Hospital). That item costs just a hair over $38,000.
At the request of board member Loyd Jackson, CEO Steve Summers told the board the administration would keep a running total of what is spent on the Bridgeport facility. He said equipment purchases for the new facility on Parkway will also be compiled and presented to local banks for financing proposals.
Wise Regional will put in a $1.6 to $1.7 million cath lab at the Parkway facility, but Summers said they would look at a partnership and lease arrangement to get that done.
FAMILY DOCS SPEAK
Surprisingly, very little of the board’s business Monday evening dealt with the acquisition of the Bridgeport hospital, which was finalized Monday.
Directors did hear from two family practice physicians in the public comment section of the meeting.
Drs. Jeff Alling and Brad Faglie spoke briefly to express their disappointment that the hospital’s credentialing committee did not approve a review of the hospital’s policy on labor and delivery.
Both physicians, along with two of their partners, Drs. Shawn White and Lara Pierce, had requested staff privileges to deliver babies after the merger of NTCH with Wise Regional. All four have made labor and delivery an integral part of their practices for several years, delivering babies at NTCH.
Although a subcommittee reportedly favored “grandfathering” them in, the Medical Ethics Committee took no action on the recommendation and as a result, nothing came to the board.
Board members listened to the presentation but did not respond and had no agenda item that would have allowed them to act on the matter.
After that, the board met in closed session to discuss a Medical Executive Committee report and quality assurance/performance report, to review information relating to a proposed new service or existing product line and deliberate the acquisition of real property, and finally to evaluate the CEO.
Back in open session, they approved new appointments for 10 physicians, three nurse-practicioners and three certified nurse-anesthetists, as well as approving bi-annual renewals for three physicians and a certified nurse-anesthetist, and first-year reviews for four more physicians and four more CRNAs.
Seven of the physician appointments or renewals were for emergency medicine, four were for radiology, three for family pracice, two for pathology, and one each for endocrinology/internal medicine, oncology and bariatric medicine.
They also approved a bylaws change to allow the medical staff to choose which campus they wish to affiliate with. Summers said that will allow the physicians who have practiced strictly in Bridgeport to continue to focus their practices there without facing “on-call” requirements at the Decatur hospital.
“That will also be important when the Parkway facility comes on-line,” he said, noting that many of the physicians planning to work there do not live in Decatur and would not appreciate having to be on call here.
The board also:
- heard a report from Finance Director Jim Eaton;
- heard from Human Resources Director Mike McQuiston on the employee evaluation process;
- approved the BKD accounting firm to do the system’s 2012 audit and cost report;
- discussed plans for a May board retreat at the Decatur Civic Center;
- heard from Summers that AirEvac regional air ambulance service had reopened discussions about leasing space on the WRHS campus for a hangar and fueling station, now that the city has changed a zoning code that would allow it. Summers said he would come back to the board with a detailed plan and a five-year lease proposal;
- heard a report that employee health insurance had renewed with a 7.5 percent overall increase – about half of what was budgeted – with about 4 percent of that tied to the new national health care plan. Wise Regional will bear that cost, Eaton said, so that employees will not see an increase;
- moved their April board meeting from the 22nd to the 29th, and their May meeting from Monday, May 27, to Tuesday, May 28.