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KH board to vote on ‘financial assistance policy’ tonight

Posted: August 22, 2014 2:42 p.m.
Updated: August 25, 2014 6:00 a.m.


The KershawHealth Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote on changes to its “financial assistance policy.” If passed, the new policy would change exactly who is eligible for charity care at KershawHealth.

KershawHealth Executive Vice President and COO/CFO Mike Bunch brought the proposal to the board a month ago. It would move KershawHealth away from a “stair step” policy where, currently, those whose household incomes are up to 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines may receive a 100 percent adjustment to their bills, providing them free healthcare. Those up to 300 percent and 400 percent of the poverty guideline receive discounts on their bills of 75 and 50 percent, respectively.

The original proposal, offered in July, would have scrapped that in favor of instituting a 133 percent cap -- those in households with income up to 133 percent of the poverty line would receive free care; those above that line would not. A copy of a revised proposal shows that percentage has been moved up to 138 percent.

At its July meeting, several trustees expressed concern that KershawHealth could be hurting the credit ratings of many of its patients.

The board will also focus on finances and its strategic plan tonight.

Bunch will report on July’s finances. Bunch’s report, attached to the agenda, indicates the healthcare organization generated $394,000 worth of operating income after several months of losses. However, the report also noted that KershawHealth recorded $830,000 in “meaningful use” Medicare revenue in July.

With nearly $8.569 million in net patient revenue and other operating income and approximately $9 million in total operating expenses, KershawHealth would have experienced a loss of about $436,000 for July without the meaningful use Medicare funds.

Bunch will also provide trustees with an overview of KershawHealth’s proposed Fiscal Year 2015 budget. Trustees will vote on that proposed budget in September with it going into effect Oct. 1.

Interim CEO Terry Gunn will report on changes to the healthcare systems’ EMS program, update trustees on Elgin campus developments growing out of KershawHealth’s strategic plan and provide an overview of a new “neighbors” ad campaign.

There will be committee reports from the board’s quality and strategic planning committees, with discussion on a possible subcommittee for the Elgin development project. In addition, a contracts ad hoc committee will discuss an athletic trainer contract review and a policy consideration on contract renegotiations.

Board Chair Karen Eckford is expected to follow up on trustee terms and a letter sent to Kershaw County Council as it considers a replacement for outgoing Trustee Bobby Jones. Eckford is also scheduled to update trustees on Gunn’s interim CEO contract.

The board will also enter executive session to discuss a medical staff report and to receive legal advice on “various matters” and receive a presentation from Ponder & Company on “possible partner opportunities.”

Tonight’s meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the Health Resource Center on Battleship Road and is open to the public.



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