SVH board, CEO discuss incentive goals
Thursday night’s meeting of the Sonoma Valley Health Care District board covered myriad topics ranging from August being the most lucrative in recent history at Sonoma Valley Hospital to the status of the new wing.
The meeting began with the board laying out a few of the incentive goals Sonoma Valley Hospital Chief Executive Officer Kelly Mather should aim for, in order to receive another performance bonus. In August, Mather received a bonus of $30,974 for achievements including improving patient and staff satisfaction. For the 2012-13 fiscal year, the board asked her to focus on growing the various lines of service, specifically inpatient services.
If Mather is able to grow the inpatient volume by 3 percent over last year, she’ll earn a bonus. When it comes to inpatient satisfaction, every percentage point over last year’s average of 87 percent will earn Mather more money.
Each goal is broken down into a specific increment of money, which were not disclosed during the meeting.
“This is the first year we’ve covered this level of detail of a bonus in public session,” board Chair Peter Hohorst explained. Typically, personnel matters are discussed in closed session, but changes to a California meeting laws now require executive compensation to be discussed in public. The board and Mather agreed that the incentive goals are a useful tool to focus the CEOs efforts, which will be evaluated at the end of the next fiscal year.
“I think it keeps everything moving in the right direction and outlines what we expect,” said Boardmember Kevin Carruth.
In other hospital news, Mather announced that the hospital had finally hired a female OB/GYN, something patients of the hospital have requested for years. Dr. Diwata Hope Bose will begin working at the hospital in March, after she wraps up her current contract in Milwaukee, Wis.
More good news came from hospital Chief Financial Officer Rick Reid, who announced that after successfully implementing electronic health records, the hospital stands to gain $4.7 million in reimbursement from Medicare and Medi-Cal over the next three years.
In August, every line of service saw gains in volume, including notable increases in surgery and the Skilled Nursing Facility. By the end of the month, net income, including contributions to the hospital’s capital campaign, were 3,707 percent above budget predictions due to the high patient volume.
“We showed we could physically accommodate and appropriately care for a much higher volume of patients than we usually see,” said Dick Fogg, chair of the hospital’s finance committee, who said despite the high volume, the hospital was able to manage its expenses. “We were able to flex (staff) proportionate to the patient load.”
In other positive financial news, Reid announced that by consolidating the information technology department at Sonoma Valley Hospital and Palm Drive Hospital, the local district hospital stands to save $485,000 annually.
The hospital has also developed a discount plan for private pay patients. The program offers a 60 percent discount to patients who don’t have insurance, who are often unable to pay the large hospital bills. By offering discounts, the hospital hopes to make the care more affordable for those without insurance.
“If they pay within 21 days, they get another 10 percent off,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Robbie Cohen.
Mather announced that the hospital officially broke ground on the new wing of the facility during the last week of September. The new wing, to be completed next fall, will house the emergency room and surgical center, and the hospital will also be getting a new central utility plant.
“We are now digging the hole for the new wing and the new central utility plant,” Mather said.