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EOMC’s surgery department fully booked


The Poteau Daily News

POTEAU — The LeFlore County Tax Supported Hospital Authority and the LeFlore County Hospital Authority had their March meetings on Tuesday afternoon at Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center, with two special guests — LeFlore County District 1 Commissioner Vallard Campbell III and District 3 Commissioner Jamie Oliver.

EOMC Chief Executive Officer told the LCHA board that the reopening of the surgery department has gone well thanks to the support of the physicians and mid-level providers in the area. Carter stated the Federal Public Health Emergency is still scheduled to end May 11, and the EOMC Administrative Team is making preparations to return to pre-pandemic operations.

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Carter also mentioned EOMC is still owed approximately $1.1 million, based on the 2021 cost report filed with Medicare. Carter reported that CMS has advised that they will complete the final review of the cost report by May 3 and a settlement should follow soon after.  

Carter also reported on the progress of contracts with Neuro X, a tele-neurology service that will provide consultative services to stroke patients and other patients with neurological conditions.  The contract with Heartbeat Health, a tele-cardiology service has been completed and those physicians are currently going through the credentialing process.  

EOMC will have a new landlord beginning June 1 at the Cavanal Clinic as Dr. Dennis Carter has sold the building to Nick Wann and Levi Chuculate. There won’t be any changes in clinic operations.

In other business, the LCHA board heard reports from the Safety and Infection Prevention committees as well as approving several policies and policy manuals and an addition to the formulary. EOMC Infection Preventionist Kelsey McGee, R.N. told the board that COVID and influenza numbers are going down. She said that after December saw 84 positive COVID test swabs, only 68 were seen in Januar.

In her improving organization performance report, Dr. Beth Hites said the month of January saw 58 impatient discharges, 24 observation discharges, 987 emergency room discharges and 18 swing bed discharges for a total for the month of 1,087 discharges.

Hites also shared with the LCHA board the Medical Executive Committee’s six non-provisional appointments — Dennis Carter, D.O. to family medicines services, Jeffery Blackwell, M.D. to cardio medicine-telehealth services, Cynthia Leatherwood, APRN to allied health services, Paula Rogers, M.D. and Ruchi Sachdev, M.D. to pathology services and Karim Saleeby, D.O. to internal medicine-telehealth services — and two initial appointments — Troy Clouse, M.D. to emergency medicine services and Vivian Mo, M.D. to medicine cardiovascular services. The board unanimously approved the appointments.

Poteau Fire Department Chief Jon Pickel submitted the only sealed bid for the surplus generator. That bid was for $1 and was accepted by the LCHA board.

Northeast Health Chief Financial Officer Rick Wagner presented the financial report which showed a $83,000 profit for February.  Cash on hand is $3.9 million with an additional $1 million expected from CMS soon.  The increase in SHOPP funding also helped to solidify revenue for the month.  Wagner also noted that management did a good job of controlling expenses.

In the first meeting of Tuesday afternoon’s doubleheader of meetings, Wagner reported to the LCSTSHA board that February sales tax collections were $207,192.17 with $100,000 transferred to EOMC for operations and the monthly bond payment of $95,306.37.  This left a balance of $18,676.27 to carry over to April.

By Craig Hall

Publisher and owner of Heavener Ledger and leflorecountyjournal.com

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