Joint NRH-Lyon County meeting focuses on partnership, Care Connection update Featured

Newman Regional Health Chief Quality Officer Cathy Pimple (standing) discusses the hospital's Care Connections initiative for chronic disease management during Wednesday's joint meeting between the hospital's Board of Trustees and Lyon County commissioners. . Newman Regional Health Chief Quality Officer Cathy Pimple (standing) discusses the hospital's Care Connections initiative for chronic disease management during Wednesday's joint meeting between the hospital's Board of Trustees and Lyon County commissioners. . Chuck Samples/KVOE News

Newman Regional Health's Board of Trustees met with Lyon County commissioners in joint session Wednesday.


The first part of the meeting involved a brief discussion about the ongoing partnership, especially in light of county funding for various hospital initiatives over the past decade like the new emergency department complex and anesthesia machines. County Commission Chair Rollie Martin says a vibrant hospital is vital for the overall health of Emporia and the surrounding area.

Hospital CEO Bob Wright agrees. He says the county has been "a great partner" for Newman Regional Health.

Wright also updated both boards on the current plan to dissolve the Newman Regional Health Foundation and move all assets to the Emporia Community Foundation as tentatively approved by the Board of Trustees last month. Final paperwork should be signed over the next few weeks and the agreement could be finalized at the board's next meeting in December.

Much of the meeting afterward was centered on quality initiatives, notably the recent announcement honoring Newman Regional Health Medical Partners as among the top 25 percent in Kansas for work in population health and chronic disease management. This was the topic on KVOE's Newsmaker 2 segment Wednesday as staffers highlighted the benefits of the Care Connection initiative that started in May. Care Coordinator Karyn Shields says the program is designed to help patients in a variety of ways.

Not all the news from the meeting was good. Inpatient and so-called other patient revenue were both under budget for October, while operating expenses were over budget, notably due to the use of contract labor to help in nursing and accounts receivables as well as high health insurance claims activity. The resulting monthly net loss was over $140,000, putting the year-to-date net loss at nearly $2 million.

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