IRMC board approves resolution to explore potential partnership Reply

NEWS RELEASE

The Indian River Medical Center’s Board of Directors unanimously   approved today a resolution to explore potential partnership opportunities with hospitals or multi-hospital organizations, with special focus on not-for-profit organizations with a charitable mission, to provide the long-term delivery of quality healthcare services to the residents of Indian River County.

The IRMC Board decision allows the Indian River Hospital District Collaborative Committee’s decision to move forward in the process by selecting the best consulting firm that will guide the process of identifying possible partners for the hospital. The Collaborative Committee will hear from three consulting firms on Monday, July 17 beginning at 8:45 a.m. at the Indian River Hospital District office.

“I believe this is a significant step in the right direction to proactively secure IRMC’s future in serving our community,” said IRMC Board of Directors Chairman Wayne T. Hockmeyer, Ph.D. “We are operating from a position of strength. It is the changing healthcare environment that is driving this effort and we need to explore the options available to us so that this community asset will be available to the residents in the future,” Hockmeyer added.

Hospital slows search for new CEO 1

Move is to allow Hospital District time to consider alternate forms of governance

NEWS RELEASE

The CEO Search and Transition Committee, charged with identifying a new President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Indian River Medical Center (IRMC), decided to slow down the search as recommended by the Executive Search Firm, Spencer Stuart.  On a parallel track, the Indian River County Hospital District’s Collaborative Committee is evaluating the current governance structure of the Medical Center as well as alternative structures that might best assure high quality healthcare services for our community for years to come.

Spencer Stuart’s recommendation was based upon the opinion that uncertainty related to the governance structure might limit the pool of high quality candidates.  Furthermore, potential changes to the governance structure will most likely shape the characteristics set as the highest priority in selection of the new CEO. More…

Medical Center and Hospital Board near agreement on interim deal Reply

indianrivermedicalcenterVERONEWS.COM

Unable to resolve the differences over amending the present indigent care agreement with Indian River Medical Center, the Hospital District last week unanimously voted to scrap the whole agreement and start from scratch, even though the two sides appear to be close to an interim stopgap reimbursement agreement for the current fiscal year. Continue reading…

Losing patience with IRMC management, trustees raise prospect of selling hospital Reply

COMMENTARY

“The time has come for a serious conversation about whether Indian River County’s taxpayers should continue to be in the hospital business.”

MARK SCHUMANN

Indian River Hospital District Chairman Thomas Spackman this week raised the prospect that the district might consider selling the publicly owned hospital, if the district and Indian River Medical Center management are not able to resolve differences over how to fund indigent care. More…

Consultant urges hospital board to be more critical Reply

MEG LAUGHLIN/VERONEWS.COM

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — After a seven-hour presentation by nationally recognized healthcare consultant Jamie Orlikoff on the challenges facing Indian River Medical Center, attendees joked with new hospital Board Chairman Wayne Hockmeyer that his position suddenly looked a lot more challenging. Continue reading…

Hospital team a ‘no show’ for talks with District 1

MEG LAUGHLIN/VERONEWS.COM

indianrivermedicalcenterIn recent months, talks between Indian River Medical Center leaders and Hospital District trustees appeared to be proceeding cordially, but relations between the two reached an all-time low last week when hospital negotiators failed to show up for a meeting with the District team, who had even laid on a lunch. MORE…

IRMC 2nd in state to offer wireless heart monitoring – Implantable device will sense heart failure before symptoms appear Reply

IRMC LogoIndian River Medical Center is the 2nd hospital in Florida and 11th in the United States to offer the CardioMEMS HF System. The procedure—first performed on Dec. 12—involves implanting a small pressure sensor in a patient’s pulmonary artery. The wireless sensor is able to transfer information about the patient’s pulmonary artery pressure, an early indicator of heart failure symptoms, to physicians in a remote location. MORE…

IRMC Receives American College of Cardiology Award for cardiac care Reply

NEWS RELEASE

Jason Nance

Jason Nance

Indian River Medical Center is one of only 256 hospitals nationwide to receive the American College of Cardiology’s NCDR ACTION Registry–GWTG Platinum Performance Achievement Award.

The award recognizes IRMC’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients and signifies that IRMC has reached an aggressive goal of treating these patients to standard levels of care as outlined by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association clinical guidelines and recommendations. MORE…

IRMC emergency room continues improvement with the help of ApolloMD Reply

NEWS RELEASE

Devon Bloom

Devon Bloom

With an Emergency Room already known for providing top quality care and award-winning heart and stroke services, Indian River Medical Center can now boast improvements in patient flow over the last year since ApolloMD arrived to provide physician coverage for the hospital’s Emergency Services.

Through data collection and analysis, the hospital’s project team found that the average cycle time for treatment and release of walk-in, emergency patients needed to be addressed. As a result of the improvements made to the ER process, there has been a consistent drop in wait times, and increase in patient satisfaction. MORE…

Indian River County taxpayers picking up the tab for more than indigent medical care Reply

Editor’s Note: According to a story by reporter Meg Laughlin published today by VeroNews.com, Indian River County taxpayers have for at least the past three years paid $400,000 a year to Indian River Medical Center, not for indigent care, but for overhead expenses and administrative salaries. The apparent overcharges came to light when healthcare accountant Ken Conner presented the results of his review of the Indian River Hospital District’s reimbursements to the Indian River Medical Center.

The District and the Medical Center have yet to agree on a reimbursement plan for the current fiscal year. The Hospital wants a total of $9.4 million in taxpayer money, but District Trustees, who hold elective office, have so far offered $7 million, $6 million for direct reimbursement for indigent care and $1 million to help fund the Partners In Health childbirth clinic.

Hospital District paying for more than indigent care

NDIAN RIVER COUNTY — When Hospital District trustees met last week with the accountant they hired to comb through Indian River Medical Center finances, they got some disturbing information: The property tax dollars they have directed to the hospital for indigent care for several years paid for more than that, healthcare accountant Ken Conner told them. MORE…

Hospital District approves $816,375 budget increase Reply

MARK SCHUMANN

indianrivermedicalcenterThe Indian River Hospital District Board of Trustees yesterday tentatively agreed to levy a 5.2 percent tax increase for the 2014-15 fiscal year.

If the proposed budget is approve at the District’s final budget hearing on Sept. 18, Indian River County property owners, collectively, will pay $13,725,147 in tax to the Hospital District, an increase of $816,375.

The 5.2 percent tax increase means the owner of a $250,000 home with a $50,000 Homestead exemption will pay $203.64 to the Hospital District, much of it going to reimburse Indian River Medical Center for indigent care. More…

IRMC, IRMC Foundation, IRC Hospital District – not exactly a love triangle Reply

NEWS ANALYSIS

THOMAS HARDY

Three entities are involved in the Indian River Medical Center

There are three entities involved in the Indian River Medical Center. There is the Indian River Hospital District, the Indian River Medical Center Foundation and the Indian River Memorial Hospital, Inc., doing business as the “Indian River Medical Center.”

The Indian River Hospital District, established in 1959 by the Florida Legislature, has two main legal agreements with the IRMC. The Hospital District owns and leases the hospital to IRMC and reimburses the IRMC for costs to treat indigent patients.

The Indian River Medical Center Foundation, according to its Facebook page, “is a not-for-profit, philanthropic organization whose primary mission is to generate contributions to supplement the capital requirements of IRMC…it supports the capital needs and special projects of IRMC through philanthropy.” More…

More on the commotion surrounding Indian River Medical Center 1

NEWS ANALYSIS

THOMAS HARDY 

Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy

“At the Hospital District Trustee meeting on August 7, Trustees indicated they anticipate IRMC will not cure their default by the deadline of August 11 and unanimously agreed they will continue to move in the direction of arbitration. Trustee Alma Lee Loy said, “We have to get this settled immediately.” A formal vote to do so will be taken at the Trustee’s meeting on August 21.”

 “…in its Consolidated Financial Statements, IRMC received $ 2,348,111 in operating income from the Indian River Hospital Foundation. Without this additional contribution from the Foundation, in combined with the Indigent Care reimbursement of $ 6,194,000, the operating loss would have been $ 10,046,466.”

Three entities are involved in the Indian River Medical Center

By way of background, there are three entities involved in the Indian River Medical Center. There is the Indian River Hospital District, the Indian River Medical Center Foundation and the Indian River Memorial Hospital, Inc., doing business as the “Indian River Medical Center.” More…

Hospital District trustees reject IRMC’s board’s request for 26 percent hike in funding Reply

“I don’t have any question in my mind that if we went to arbitration, we’d end up with the amount the hospital has requested.” – IRMC CEO Jeff Susi

THOMAS HARDY/MARK SCHUMANN

The IRMC board and the Hospital District trustees may be headed to a lengthy and expensive arbitration over a  new agreement on reimbursement for indigent care.

The IRMC board and the Hospital District trustees may be headed to lengthy and expensive arbitration over a new agreement on reimbursement for indigent care.

Rejecting the Indian River Medical Center board’s call for an increase in indigent care funding that would have amounted to a substantial tax hike, the Indian River Hospital District trustees yesterday approved a tentative 2014-15 budget of $13.7 million. The proposed 2014-15 millage rate of 1.02 equates to a 5 percent increase in Hospital District funding over the current year, far short of the increase the IRMC board requested.

More…

Complex issues surround Indian River Medical Center funding 1

NEWS ANALYSIS

THOMAS HARDY

Background on Indigent Medical Care Funding
Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy

We closed our last article with a quote from Anne Marie Suriano, Executive Director of the Indian River County Hospital District, that “the philosophical thought for the District Trustees is the conflict between doing their duty to provide medical care for indigent patients while taxing property owners for those {Indian River Medical Center} costs they cannot control.”

To briefly review the relationship between the Hospital District and the Indian River Medical Center, the Hospital District has two main legal agreements with the Medical Center. First, it leases the facility to the Indian River Memorial Hospital, Inc., (now doing business as Indian River Medical Center). Second, the Hospital District reimburses IRMC for costs incurred treating indigent patients. The Hospital District’s obligation to reimburse IRMC for indigent care is governed by an Indigent Care Agreement between the two parties. More…

A personal perspective on the loss of Trevor Smith Reply

THOMAS HARDY

Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy

Trevor Smith

Trevor Smith

Vero Beach resident Trevor Smith, a Trustee and Treasurer of the Indian River County Hospital District, died tragically on Tuesday when his car hit a utility pole.

I first met Mr. Smith on Monday after a meeting of the Hospital District Trustees. I approached him and inquired if I could ask him a few questions. He graciously agreed and we sat in the lunchroom together for about 45 minutes. I thought to myself what a privilege to be sitting here with this man. With what appeared to be a British accent, he came across to me as a statesman, very kind, humorous, and above all very concerned about doing his duty for the taxpayers and indigent population of Indian River County. He was transparent, forthright and generous with his time. More…

Reader Poll: Privatize Indian River Medical Center? 2

IRMC and Hospital District board may be near agreement on indigent care funding Reply

MARK SCHUMANN

A debate may be looming over whether Indian River Medical Center should remain a publicly owned hospital.  For now, at least, the IRMC board and the Hospital District board appear close to reaching a new agreement on reimbursement for indigent care.

A debate may be looming over whether Indian River Medical Center should remain a publicly owned hospital. For now, at least, the IRMC board and the Hospital District board appear close to reaching a new agreement on reimbursement for indigent care.

A June 10 letter from Indian River Medical Center Treasure Jack Weisbaum to Indian River Hospital District Treasurer Trevor Smith suggests their respective boards may be close to reaching a new three-year agreement on how the Hospital District will reimburse the IRMC for care it provides the county’s indigent patients. (See exchange of correspondence below)

Weisbaum indicated the IRMC board is prepared to accept the Hospital District’s proposed cap of just over $7 million for the 2015 fiscal year.  The IRMC had asked for reimbursement of between $9 million and $9.7 million.  In accepting the Hospital District’s final proposal, Weisbaum wrote, “In response to your latest proposal, IRMC does not want to go to arbitration as it is a lengthy and expensive process…Therefore, we hope to reach an agreement within the total $7,047,000 reimbursement you suggest for FY 2015, even though it will put a strain on the hospital’s budget.” More…