Board Meeting 12-15-2022 and 1-19-2022 C & Q
In December 2021 and January 2022 we received a number of comments and questions about the goings-on at our institution. The questions broke down into several themes that follow the pattern from previous months, so we respond to the questions accordingly.
1. Improve access to board meetings?
Answer: Given the pandemic, access to board meetings has and will remain limited until further notice. As of this writing, the infection rate in McKinley County is almost 50% of the population tested. We will attempt to improve technology for more online access.
2. What is the board selection process?
Answer: The board is selected through a careful process involving a third party professional recruiter. Eligible candidates must have professional experience in health care leadership and/or governance.
3. Are financial documents available to the public?
Answer: Yes, they are periodically posted on our website and occasionally will be published in a local newspaper.
4. Do you find out why nurses left?
Answer: Yes, we always seek an exit interview with any departing employee.
5. What is the progress of the 2020-2023 Implementation Plan?
Answer: We are not aware of such a document.
6. Can we get more public notice of meetings in the papers?
Answer: We typically publish meeting notices in two separate editions of a local paper.
7. What is the relationship between RMCHCS and the Western Health Foundation?
Answer: The Foundation is a subsidiary of the RMCHCS Corporation whose primary responsibility is to support RMCHCS through philanthropy and granstmanship. The Foundation is essentially dormant as its mission and function are reevaluated and audits are completed. Once that evaluation is complete, we expect to seek board members and engage staff to reignite its activities.
8. What is the relationship between CHC and RMCHCS?
Answer: Community Hospital Consulting Corporation (CHC) is a company that provides hospital management services to small rural hospitals throughout America. It engages with hospitals through various means, such as consulting agreements for specific projects and multi-year management agreements. RMCHCS and CHC are engaged in a 3-year management agreement which was executed on 5/3/21. CHC places senior level industry experts to serve in executive roles and provides extensive subject matter expertise and support through its 100+ hospital operations and clinical operations experts. Moreover, CHC lends its significant purchasing power in the market to leverage extensively discounted pricing for supplies and products for all of its managed hospitals. In the case of RMCHCS this feature should save the hospital about $1.5m annually. CHC is not a subsidiary of any other entity--- it is an independent company.
9. How is the CEO selected?
Answer: CHC recruits the CEO and other executive positions for its managed hospitals. The board provides advise and consent on the selection process. The CEO is employed by CHC and essentially leased to the hospital.
10. Did RMCHCS apply for the last round of federal Covid funds?
Answer: Yes. RMCHCS aggressively seeks any potential covid relief funds from multiple sources. CHC has staff dedicated to this as well, and provides valuable reporting support to governmental entities on the proper use of said funds.
1. Don't accuse and admonish providers
Answer: Not sure the context of this comment. But we don't wrongly accuse anyone for anything. That is not our value system.
2. Support staff providers to do their jobs.
Answer: We wholeheartedly agree.
3. There is a lack of transparency and accountability
Answer: We realize there are multiple definitions and views about transparency and accountability. Legally speaking, RMCHCS complies with all laws regarding transparency, such as the posting of its pricing on the hospital website.
4. It's distressing board members of the Western Health Foundation resigned. Why did that happen?
Answer: We do not know specific reasons why some board members resigned.
5. It's disappointing that the board chose not to include public in its meetings.
Answer: While a private corporation, the board did open its meetings to the public in 2021. Due to the severity of the pandemic, the January 2022 meeting was held virtually and not live streamed. We continue to upgrade our technology for online attendance as resources allow.
Suggestions for Improvement:
1. Involve community in selection of board members.
Answer: We are a private not for profit corporation which welcomes community members to our board meetings. Our board is comprised of health-related and leadership professionals based on a prescribed process in a formal agreement with the County; we follow that clear process.
2. Should there be nurses in the clinic to make critical decisions regarding patient care?
Answer: Yes. There are nurses in all patient care service areas who actively participate in patient care.