Archive for April, 2012

Spaghetti Feast To Raise Funds For MCDH Hospice “Room With A Soul”
—Posted Wednesday, April 25th, 2012 at 4:50 pm— « »

I’m pleased to announce that the Friends of Hospice (FoH) is presenting an evening of food, musical entertainment, and silent auction to raise funds for the remodeling of Room 112 at Mendocino Coast District Hospital into “Room with a Soul” for those who need end of life care, as well as those who are healing. The event takes place on Saturday, May 19th, at the Portuguese Hall. Festivities begin at 5 pm and a family style spaghetti dinner will be served from 5:30 to 8 pm.

An evening of entertainment

Conceived as an evening’s entertainment, the event starts with music and an open bar at 5 pm. Appetizers will accompany entertainment before, during, and after the main course in a bistro setting. Local wines, as well as beers from the North Coast Brewing Company, have been donated for the event.

Family style dinner, musical entertainment and more

Dinner will feature homemade pasta sauces with options for vegetarian and gluten-free. “Mouthwatering, hand-made meatballs will be abundant, as well as family-style service of bread, salad, and small desserts,” notes FoH volunteer Cynthia Wall. A silent auction and raffle will add to the excitement, with businesses and individuals contributing generous gifts and certificates. At 5 pm local song-man, Harry Rosensteel, will sing songs we all remember. Then to end with a sizzle, “Torch Jazz” featuring Ira Rosenberg on piano with Zida Borcich vocalizing, picks up the pace at 6:30 and closes the place down at 9PM.

MCDH A Look Back at the Last 6 Years – Part 2
—Posted Tuesday, April 17th, 2012 at 7:26 pm— « »

Basic CMYK

Yesterday I wrote about all of the construction activity that has taken place at MCDH over the past 6 years.  All of the construction projects have been necessary for the continued operation of MCDH.  There have been other factors that have affected our hospital during the past 2 + years that have also had a dramatic effect on financial performance.

As the economy has worsened in recent years, the effect has been felt not only at the local level but also in our Nation in Washington, D.C. and our State.  In 2009 a new program was created at the Federal level called the Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) program.  The RAC program is designed to allow Federally designated (RAC) contractors to have open access to Medicare hospital admissions from prior years.  The RACs are looking for overpayments made by Medicare to hospitals and, in the early years, they were permitted to keep a percentage of every dollar that they recovered for the government.   The program sounds reasonable. 


MCDH – A Look Back At the Last 6 Years – Part 1
—Posted Monday, April 16th, 2012 at 12:52 pm— « »

DSC_0129I am often asked “what happened to get MCDH into the situation that it is in right now?”  It is very natural for people to want to be able to identify a person, persons or an event that caused such a significant reversal of fortune.  In the case of MCDH I feel that it is a number of events that have hit us, particularly in the past 2 years.  You could call it a “Perfect Storm” situation.  I hope that you will give me a chance to explain “what happened to MCDH.”   

I took over as the CEO of Mendocino Coast District Hospital in November of 2006.  At that time MCDH was in very good shape in some respects and poor shape in other areas.  After suffering a loss exceeding $5 million in fiscal year 2006 (ending June 30, 2006), MCDH was on a very strong path towards recovery.  Due to the phenomenal efforts of Jon Baker, Interim CEO and the entire MCDH family, Critical Access Hospital designation had been approved and became effective on October 5, 2006.  This ensured that the hospital would have a more stable source of Medicare payments effective immediately at that time.  Jon Baker and the staff had also done a great job of identifying some programs that were losing money for MCDH and eliminated them, putting the hospital on a stable course.  On the negative side, the hospital was down to only $500,000 in it’s Funded Depreciation account.  And just as significant, I soon learned that our (then) 35 year old hospital had some major physical plant deficiencies. 


MCDH Board Passes Resolution to Enter Into Mediation with Creditors
—Posted Saturday, April 14th, 2012 at 2:15 pm— « »

On Friday, April 13  the MCDH Board of Directors met and passed MCDH Board Resolution Number 2012-3.  This resolution begins a 60-day Mediation Process between Mendocino Coast District Hospital and it’s creditors.   The passage of this Resolution does not mean that MCDH will be filing for bankruptcy protection.  It is not the wish or desire or intention of MCDH to file for bankruptcy.  We plan to use this State mandated step for the purpose that it is intended for, to continue (with the assistance of a Mediator) to reach an agreement with our employees that would assist our hospital in returning to profitability.  UFCW is the only creditor that we plan to mediate a settlement with.  MCDH is confident that it can continue to do business with it’s other creditors without the assistance of a mediated settlement.  In the event that MCDH and UFCW are unable to reach a mediated settlement, yesterday’s Board Resolution would ultimately allow MCDH to file for a Chapter 9 Bankruptcy.  However, I would like to emphasize again that this is not the intention of Mendocino Coast District Hospital.  It could occur if nothing else is successful in improving MCDH’s profitability.  We need to do everything possible to ensure the survival of Mendocino Coast District Hospital even if it means a bankruptcy filing in order to restructure debt.

An Update on MCDH’s Financial Recovery Plan
—Posted Tuesday, April 10th, 2012 at 6:12 pm— « »

After 3 meetings between MCDH Senior Management and Officials of the United Food and Commercial Workers Labor Union during the past 45 days, I am very sorry to announce that the 2 sides have been unable to reach an agreement on a series of cost reduction strategies proposed by management that we believe would have brought our hospital back to a necessary level of financial stability in the next 15 months and would have preserved the level of services that are currently available at MCDH. 

 Our management team had sought 2 outcomes from these meetings.  First, we wanted to reach an agreement on some specific action steps that we can accomplish within the next 3 months.  At the very least we expected to receive a compromise offer from the UFCW leadership that would still allow us to move forward.  Second, we expected that ultimately the choice of a partnership solution between both sides would be put to a vote by our employees.  Neither of these steps was taken by UFCW. 


Thank You Jeannie for Your Kind Words
—Posted Thursday, April 5th, 2012 at 3:07 pm— « »

Although the past few weeks have consumed the hospital administration team as we work to balance the budget, one thing we never  forget about is the importance of good patient care. Our patients are our number one focus and our number one priority.

With that in mind, it is always a pleasure to get feedback about the care we have provided.

I am especially pleased to share a personal, hand-written note I received from Jeannie Alderson of Gualala:

“I recently had a condition making it necessary to spend an extended period of time in your hospital. I would like to commend every member of the staff that I encountered. You all made a very unpleasant illness into a much more pleasant experience. You all seemed to truly care about your patients as human beings, not just a job.

I will always remember this and be grateful.” She even included a red, heart-colored “Love” postage stamp. :)

On behalf of our entire team — our doctors, nurses, technicians, therapists and patient access coordinators — we thank you, Jeannie Alderson.