Douglas County Health Center moving forward with four priorities

Apr 24, 2013

The Douglas County Health Center is moving forward with four recommendations to address revenue and efficiencies.

The Health Center Board of Trustees voted Tuesday on the four items identified last week as priorities. One is to open up a nursing unit at the Health Center. Administrator Jim Tourville says another is to convert the Center’s 24 assisted living beds to long-term care ones.

"Assisted living is losing money, it’s very possible in the future the Medicaid waiver, which is the mechanism right now which we are reimbursed for the care we provide for the residents in assisted living, may go away, and that was one of the things that HMA indicated as well. The third one is for electronic health records, and that one would pay for itself probably within a year."

A marketing plan is the fourth priority. Trustee Mary Ann Borgeson says more detailed information is needed as to how much it’ll cost to move forward.

"We talked about the recommendations. We set out kind of what some of them were going to be as our priorities. And now, between now and the actual implementation of them, I think we need to have a better understanding of the cost, and where that money is coming from, in order to implement those."

The Health Management Associates report looked at staffing, costs to provide services, and the role of technology in reducing costs. The Health Center has 254 long-term care beds and 24 assisted living ones.

The report also identified ways to make the Community Mental Health Center more efficient.