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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
January 4, 2012     Feather River Bulletin
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January 4, 2012

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Feather River Bulletin Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 9A PHC gets clean audit, needs to be vigilant Delaine Fragnoli Managing Editor Despite its best efforts, Eastern Plumas Health Care (EPHC) will continue to walk a financial "tightrope" in 2012, according to its auditor. The district received a clean, unqualified audit opin- ion for its annual financial audit. Despite the good audit and improvements in some areas, the auditor's message to directors at their Decem- ber meeting was one of uncertainty and vigilance. Overall, EPHC had a net operating loss of $608,062 and a net decrease in net assets of $90,502. The "kicker," said auditor Jerrel Tucker of TCA Partners, was a drop in net patient service revenue of $1,227,748. "Your volume was down, you just didn't have the patients," he said. "Sometimes, in a small rural hospital, it is what it is." He allowed that the drop could be a result of the general economy. "Volumes are off across the board," Tucker said. Chief Financial Officer Jeri Nelson pointed out that the drop in patient revenue amounted to just one patient per day. To compensate for such tight margins, EPHC needs to manage its staff and expenses, Tucker advised. "Keep looking for opportuni- ties for more revenue, while keeping expenses in check. Keep a steady hand at the wheel." Nelson noted that the district did not use any registries during the fiscal year, which helped with staff expenses. EPHC did have a good year in billing and collecting, and was able to increase its cash on hand from one day to eight days. Collections were up and coming in faster. Tucker acknowledged that the overall health care climate was tough. "It's a continuous battle to squeeze out every cent owed to you" from third-party payers like MediCal and Medicare. The rules and regulations are "complicated and getting worse." Nelson concurred: "I spend 25 percent of my time -- at least -- dealing with govern- ment rules, educating staff, etc." In such an environment, what should be good news can be vexed. EPHC is among the first institutions to get federal reimbursement for implementing an electronic medical records system. The reimbursement is worth $850,000 to the district. The problem is, receiving institu- tions do not know how to "book" the payment. Tucker said there were at least four ways institutions could record these payments, some of which were more financially beneficial than others. "It's all over the place," he said. The Center for Medicare/Medicaid Ser- vices is expected to issue a white paper to provide some guidance. Speaking of Medicare, the darkest cloud on EPHC's financial horizon is MediCal cuts to skilled nursing facili- ties. (MediCal is California's Medicare program.) The reductions could amount to a $1.1 million annual hit at EPHC; $500,000 o that is retroactive to the beginning of the fiscal year.. How hos- pitals will have to pay back is up in the air, although Nelson has expressed doubt that the state will offer any sort of payment plan. The district is pinning its hopes on a lawsuit by the California Hospital Associa- tion challenging the legality of the cuts: A federal judge heard arguments on a motion for an injunction Dec. 19. Chief Executive Officer Tom Hayes said at the De- cember meeting that EPHC would delay previously announced 5 percent across- the-board cuts until he saw which way the court ruled on the injunction. Meanwhile, health care providers are bracing for further cuts to third-payer programs in 2012. October numbers Later in the meeting, Nelson reported financials for the month of October. Although patient revenue continued to decline, expenses were under budget, yielding net income of $42,808. "It was a good month," Nelson said. "I feel good where we're at." For the first four months of the fiscal year, EPHC is showing net income of $205,111. Nelson said she was "very pleased" by this number. She could not, however, explain why revenues were down in ancillary services, like lab work. "This has been our bread and butter." Lab manager Bill Carlson attributed the drop in lab revenue for the month to physicians taking time off. He said physicians had taken more than five days off in October. When they are off, lab work doesn't get ordered. Patients who don't have an urgent need will wait for a provider they like. Staffing Hayes announced that the clinic manager was resigning and he had no plans to fill the position. Hayes said clinic clerical staff had already been reorganized and there would be "more to come." Hayes also announced a plan to restructure staffing in the emergency rooin. Rather than have physicians on call, ER doctors would admit and follow hospital patients. He called the current on-call requirements for physicians "burdensome" and said the new system would help with physician recruitment. He emphasized that the district was not getting rid of any doctors. Hayes noted the downside was that some patients would want their own doctor to admit them. Chief of Staff Eric Bugna supported the plan. "Being See Audit, page IOA 'COMMUNITY CORNER WEEKLY CALENDAR Thursday, Jan. 5 NA, 6:45 a.m., 260 County Hos- pital Road, Courthouse Annex- Orchard House. Quincy. .ALP=, noon, 260 CounW Hospital Road, Courthouse Annex - Or- chard House. Quincy. Women's Support Group, Every Thurs., 1-2 p.m., Plumas Crisis Center, 591 Main St., Quincy.. Call 283-5515. A1-Anon, 5:30 p.m., United Methodist Church, upstairs in back. For families & friends of alcoholics. NA, 6 p.m., 260 County Hospital Road, Courthouse Annex - Or- chard House. Quincy. Lions Club, 1st & 3rd Thurs- days, noon at Cafe Le Coq, Quincy Call 283-0495. Plumas District Hospital Vol- unteers, 1st lurs., St. John s Parish Hall, 0on. 283-0474 for info. Second Horizon Club, Vet- eran's Hall, 1 p.m. 1st & 3rd Thurs. Story Time, free, at Epilog Books, Main St., Quincy. 3:30-4 p.m. 1st Thursdays. Adult must be present with children. Plumas District Hospital Regular Board Meeting. First Thursdays, 4:30 p.m. in the Ad- ministration Conference Room at PDH. Feather River Grange, Feather River Grange Hall in Quincy, 1st Thurs., 6:30 p.m. potluck, meeting follows. Call 283-2782 or 283-2930. Plumas County Fish & Game Commission, Vets Hall, 7 p.m., 1st Thurs., April- Dec. Meeting of the Morns play- group. 9:30-11:30 a.m., Episco- pal Church, Lawrence St. 1st & 3rd Thurs. Call Pam Becwar, Women's Mountain Passages, 283-0859 for info. Friday, Jan. 6 NA, 6:45 a.m., 260 County Hos- pital Road, Courthouse Annex- Orchard House. Quincy. AA, noon, 260 County Hospital Road, Courthouse Annex - Or- chard House. Quin AA,5 p:in,, 2 Couiity H0spRal Road, Courthouse Annex - Or- chard House. Quin NA, 6:30 p.m., 260 County Hos- pital Road, Courthouse Annex- Orchard House. Quincy. NARFE, Feather River Chapter No. 2236. 1st Fri., noon. Federal employees, spouses, guests, wel- come. Call for details on loca- tion, Dick Castaldini 283-1349, or Greg Margason 283-0686. To update information on this page, contact Eva at the Feather River Bulletin, 283-0800. email Today's Weather 63/36 A mtanly sunny sky. Near record high temperatures, High 63F. Sunrise Sunset 7:26 AM 4:52 PM 61/34 Partly cloudy. Highs in the low 60s and lows in the mid 30s. 57/34 Mix of sun and clouds. Highs in the upper 50s and lows in the mid 30s. Sundx Sunset 7:26 AM 4:54 PM 59/31 Sunny. Highs in the upper 50s and lows in the low 306. 58/33 Mix of sun and clouds, Highs in the upper 50s and lows in the low 30s. Sundm Sunset 7:26 AM 4:54 PM SunriSe Sunset SundN Summt 7:26 AM 4:53 PM 7:25 AM 4:55 PM ,,'e gock!" Advanced Geologic Exploration, Inc. Scientists of the Earth TM 180 Main St. P.O. Box 1956 Chester CA = 96020, (530) 258-4228 1 Need help assessing the gold potential on your claim? Call us! 1 California At A Glance San 75/51 Moon Phases First Full Jan 1 Jan 9 O Last New Jan 16 Jan 23 UV Index Wed 1/4 Low Thu 1/5 Low Fri 1/6 Low Sat 1/7 Low Sun 1/8 Low l'e UV Index i$ measured on 8 O- 11 number scale, lh a higher UV Index ewlng tho need lot greater skin pro- t(IcJON. 0 :.i i! 11 Saturday, Jan. 7 NA, 7:30 a.m., 260 County Hos- pital Road, Courthouse Annex- Orchard House. Quincy. NA, noon, 260 County Hospital Road, Courthouse Annex - Or- chard House. Quincy. AA, 5 p.m. 260 County Hospital Road, Courthouse Annex - Or- chard House. Quincy. NA, 6:30 p.m., 260 County Hos- pital Road, Courthouse Annex- Orchard House. Quincy. Dukes of Plumas Cribbage Gang. Meet 10:30 a.m., start play 11 a.m., every Saturday at Mt. Tomba, Cromberg. Animal Adoptions. 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Plumas County Animal Shelter, Quincy. .... ,;, ,,,, ...... 1.1 3:18 a.m. 1.8 12/16 2:40 p.m. Bunley a j. 1.$ 5:17 a.m. 12/19 Red Regional 10 3 0 Previous week 14 3 0 ] 17 It was the week before Christmas and all was seismically quiet, only small tem- blors here and there- hardly a peep from a mouse. 0nly ten earthquakes were re- corded throughout the week, the fewest number since mid September- 14 weeks ago. It is interesting to note that during this recent increase in activity over the last five months, that not once has the number of weekly events dropped into single digit figures. In comparison, the Sunday, Jan, 8 NA, noon, 260 County Hospital Road, Courthouse Annex - Or- chard House. Quincy. NA, 5 p.m., women only, 260 County Hospital Road, Court- house Annex - Orchard House. Quincy. Square Dance lessons. United Methodist Church, 282 Jackson St., Quincy, 6-8 p.n. every Sun- day. Open to all: beginners, sin- gles, couples, all ages. $5 per person. Casual dress. Refresh- ments. Monday, Jan. 9 NA, 6:45 a.m., 260 County Hos- pital Road, Courthouse Annex - Orchard House. Quincy. NA meeting, noon, 260 County 1.6 11:29a.m, 12/15 1.O 7:20 p.m, 12/17 previous six-month period saw 16 weeks post less that ten quakes per week. There was one principal reason for the recent increase, however, and that was the Yuba Gap-Sierra Valley earthquake swarm, which produced more than 140 earth- quakes, including a M 4.7 and a M 4.1 on October 26 and October 30, respectively. That sequence still was adjusting to its new tectonic regime, as one small jiggle measuring M 1.0 was detected. What has been interesting, however, has been the increase in activity along the Almanor Fault Zone near Lake Almanor, where two more little quakes were recorded. Hospital Road, Courthouse Annex = .Orchard House, Quincy. Rotary Club, Mineral Build- ing, fairgrounds, noon. Call 283- 2127. Boy Scout Troop 151, Mon., 6 p.m. Scoutmaster Rob Robi- nette, 283-0858 for location. Duplicate Bridge. Every Mon- day, 6:30 p.m., Resource Center, Blairsden, corner of hwys 70 and 89. Call Ruth Bright, 836- 1454 or Jackie Lucky' 836-2232. AA, 7 p.m., Methodist Church in Quincy, upstairs at the back 282 Jackson. Masons Lodge #60, meets 2nd Mon., Quincy Masonic Hall, 7:30 p.m. Quincy Reading Group, 2nd Mort., 7 p.m., priy, atresidence in Quincy Free, ailMary Wed- dle, 283-5351. Come Iirepared to discuss book. Feather River 4-H, 2nd Mon., 6:15 p.m., Mineral Bldg, Fair- grounds, Quincy. Cindy Ed- wards, 283-5384, for more info. Tuesday, Jan. 10 NA, 6:45 a.m., 260 County Hos- pital Road, Courthouse Annex - Orchard House. Quincy PRS-WIC, Supplemental food & nutrition education for children under 5 & pregnant-nursing women. Every Tues., 10 a.m., Quincy 283-4093 or (800) WIC- 4O93. Board of Supervisors, 10 a.m., Courthouse, Quincy, 1st 4 Tues. AA meeting, noon, 260 County Hospital Road, Courthouse LAST WEEK'S TEMPERATURES Date High Low Precip Snow Dec. 27 46 13 .... Dec. 28 48 16 .... Dec.29 53 29 .... Dec. 30 50 38 .03 -- Dec. 31 49 26 .... Jan. 1 42 21 .... Jan. 2 59 19 .... 2.5 inches snow to date* 5.41 in. total precipitation to date* Dec, Averages: Hi 47.88, Lo 19.45, .15" precip and .5" snow. Last year (1-4-11): precip 24.33", snow 36.5" *Weather year is July 1 to June 30 Compiled by Ron Trumbo CHURCHES Calvary Chapel Quincy 283-4463. New address: 1953 E. Main, Mill Creek Shopping Cen- ter, East Quincy. Christian Life Fellowship 283-0345, 317 First St., E. Quincy. Christ the King Episcopal 283-0254, 545 Lawrence St., Quincy. Church of Christ 283-1191, 152 E. Jackson St., Quincy. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 283-2170, 55 Bellamy Ln., Quincy. Community United Methodist 283-1740, 282 Jackson St., Quincy, First Baptist 283-1160, 74 Reese St., Quincy. Meadow Valley Community 283-4259, 48 Cemetery Rd, Meadow Valley, office: 353 Jackson St, #100, Quincy Our Savior Lutheran 283-2546. Church & High Sts., Quincy. Seventh-Day Adventist 310-2042 or 283-3092, 233 Pine St., Quincy. Springs of Hope Christian Fellowship Pete, 283-1613, or John, 927- 7626, 59 Bell Ln., Quincy. St. John's Catholic Church 283-0890, 176 Lawrence St., Quincy. Starlight Missionary Baptist 283-1505, 171 Redburg Ave., Quincy. Truth Tabernacle of Quincy, 260-8006, 2205 East Main St., Quincy. Annex - Orchard House, Quincy Soroptimist International of Quincy, Moons restaurant, noon to 1 p.m. Overeaters Anonymous meet- ing, 5:15 p.m., 260 County Hospi- tal Road, Courthouse Annex - Orchard House, Quincy. Boy Scouts Troop 130, 7 p.m., Quincy Elementary Call Mitch Treagan, 283-1148. NA, 7 p.m., Methodist Church, 282 Jackson St., Quincy Plumas Family Child Care Association, 6:30 p.m. in Quincy. Call Yolanda Wood, 283- 4897 for more information. Meets every other month on the second Tuesday' Wednesday, Jan. 11 NA, 6:45 a.m., 260 County Hos- pital Road, Courthouse Annex - Orchard House. Quincy Toastmaster's Ihternational, American Valley Chapter. Every Wed., 12-1 p.m., Plumas Bank Credit Administration Conference Room, 32 Central Ave., Quincy. For more info, con- tact Trish Taylor, 283-1936. AA meeting, noon, 260 County Hospital Road, Courthouse Annex - Orchard House, Quincy' Senior lunch, Blairsden, noon, Mohawk Community Resource Center. Call 836-0446 for reser- vations. Quincy Community Supper, 6 p.m. every Wed, United Methodist Church. Free. AA, 7 p.m., upstairs in back, Methodist Church, 282 Jackson St., Quincy American Valley 4-H, Mineral Building, 7 p.m., 2nd Wed. Maria, 283-4889 Plumas Chapter OES 246, Ma- sonic Temple, 7:30 p.m., 2nd Wed. Breast Cancer Support Group, 2nd Wed., 6-7:30 p.m., Great Northern Hair Co. Judy, 283-1008 or Michelle, 283-0174 for info. Quincy/Plumas Computer Users Group, 7-9 p.m., 259 Jackson St., Quincy. 283-2542. 2nd Wed. Elks meeting, Elks Lodge, Hwy 70, E. Quincy, cocktails 6:30 p.m.; dinner 7 p.m.; meeting 8 p.m.; 2nd & 4th Wed. Plumas County Mental Health Commission 2nd Wed., Quincy library, noon-2 p.m. Public invited, lunch pro- vided. For more info, tlank Eisenman, 283-0782. LAKE LEVELS Lake Almanor *Elevation 1Current 4,485.26 1 Year Ago 4,483.13 Lake Almanor **Capacity 1Current 914,941 1 Year Ago 862,393 Bucks Lake *Ele.vation "l'Current 5,136.54 1 Year Ago 5,145.32 Bucks Lake **Capacity l-Current 70,262 1 YearAgo 84,825 *Elevation above sea level in ft. **Storage in acre ft. 1" Jan. 2, 2012 Jan. 2, 2011