By LIBBY CLUETT
In an information-filled meeting Tuesday, Palo Pinto General Hospital trustees had many agenda items to consider and some accolades – including some for themselves.
Board Secretary/Treasurer Tim Hopkins received his certification from the organization Texas Healthcare Trustees, making him the sixth trustee who has received certification this year.
Trustees also heard that PPGH is on the Texas Center for Quality and Patient Safety list of pay-for-performance, high-performing hospitals, based on a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid-developed progress scale. Under a federal program, most U.S. hospitals now sample recently discharged patients and ask them about their stay.
Benchmarks show how hospitals progress in various hospital-acquired conditions, or HACs, according to the TCQPS. Goals for the “Partnership for Patients” include seeing a 40-percent reduction in HACs and a 20-percent reduction in hospital readmissions by December.
“I think it is great to see how PPGH is scoring and improving with the pay for performance benchmarks,” said CEO Harris Brooks. “We were included along with other great hospitals that are striving to improve the overall quality of service delivered at our organizations.”
In other PPGH board business:
• Trustee Richard Dennis addressed the need for a physician recruiting plan and to meet with stakeholders.
Chief of Staff Dr. John Jones said, “In moving forward, you've got to poll your doctors.”
He added when setting the parameters of a meeting with physicians, “need to be honest in laying down the rules” and let them know the meeting is about “what's best for the hospital.”
• In his report, Jones said the medical staff is moving in a positive direction regarding bylaws.
• In the CEO report, Brooks said PPGH is looking into the possibility of joining in with nursing homes for potential federal Upper-
Payment-Limit funding – Medicaid dollars designed to help them make up for low-base payments.
“The state is looking at expanding this and matching it with money from the federal government,” he said.
• Brooks informed trustees that he was approached by Frisco-based Maxim Management Group CEO Mark Harris, which is breaking ground on the first long-term acute-care facility in Weatherford. He noted that this will provide a “closer-to-home option” for patients who need such a facility.
Located next door to Weatherford Regional Medical Center, the 27,000-square-foot Weatherford Rehabilitation Hospital will have 26 beds, all private rooms, with a cafeteria and dining facilities as well as a physical and occupational therapy gym area.
• Brooks reported that another individual, Jerry Pullum, regional director of a home health care company, informed him that, beginning Aug. 1, his company would be working with Dr. Patrick Hisel's office, providing post-acute-care home care to help prevent 30-day re-admissions into the hospital.
• He told the board that HKS Architects is nearing a proposed bid cost for a PPGH campus master plan and will discuss it further at the next regular meeting.