CHRISTUS Mother Francis Hospital Sulphur Springs is once again in compliance with Medicare/Medicaid having more than met standards during a recent certification survey, according to Paul Harvey, hospital administrator. Harvey reported to the Hopkins County Hospital District Board Monday night during their regular session. Harvey updated the district board regarding activities at the local hospital. The Hopkins Hospital District owns 49% of the local hospital.
Harvey stated that the hospital staff had been intense in preparation for the final survey that would determine if the hospital could continue to receive Medicare/Medicaid payments for services. He also noted that rural health clinics are also surveyed every six years and the CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic had also undergone a survey in recent months. There were compliance issues but those were resolved within the 30-day period required. Now, both hospital and clinic are in full compliance.
Harvey noted that as of January 1, 2017 all employees, 32 providers/doctors, at the clinic have successfully moved to CHRISTUS. He also announced the addition of Stephanie Quick as the new manager for the Medical Clinic. Quick has previous experience in clinic management in Shreveport, LA. The clinic has restructured the medical team leadership and has a six member review committee. He stated the local clinic joined at a time when CHRISTUS physicians increased from 370 to over 600 physicians including the addition of 150 physicians in Longview. The addition of physicians increases the network for doctors when making referrals.
Communication of medical records between doctors and hospitals in the CHRISTUS system is being aided by the addition of a software system, EPIC. Using EPIC allows a person to use an app on their smartphone when at any other clinic and hospital using EPIC. Harvey called the decision a good decision for the community providing a seamless information stream for providers of medical care. EPIC should be available at both clinic and hospital by September 9, 2017.
Hospital occupancy rates have increased in January and February. Harvey told the board that ICU is running near 100% full since early January. He noted the addition of new physicians could increase those rates as well. He stated currently two primary care physicians, an additional mid-wife, and a pain management physician are high on the list of needed physicians. He pointed out that the local urologist will also attract more patients with area hospitals losing their urologists in retirement or moving to a new location out of area.