I have had the good fortune to be at Wayne HealthCare for the past six years. During that time a great deal has changed. Unfortunately, a number of things have not changed. One of the things not changed has been a community-wide lack of “accurate” knowledge about our hospital. So, let’s start with some basic facts.
Wayne HealthCare is operated by the Wayne Hospital Company. The Wayne Hospital Company is a 501 (c)(3), membership, not-for-profit organization. Anyone residing in Darke County, Ohio or an employee of Wayne HealthCare is eligible to be a member. The membership cost is $100 and it is a lifetime membership.
There are currently approximately 700 Wayne Hospital Company members. The Wayne Hospital Company manages the hospital business activities through a code of regulations, more commonly known as corporate by-laws. The “company” manages through a 12-member board of trustees. The nominating committee of the hospital board recommends potential board members to the Wayne Hospital Company general membership.
A board member is elected by the “Company” to serve a three-year term. A board member may be re-elected twice and serve up to three full, three-year terms. At all times, three of the board members must be in healthcare. Two of those three people must be doctors.
The Wayne Hospital Company also reviews the operations of the hospital on an annual basis and must approve any and all changes to the code of regulations. An annual report is made on the business operations the hospital chief executive officer, chief financial officer and the treasurer of the hospital auxiliary.
The hospital has a strategic plan. The hospital engages in no new activities not listed in the strategic plan. One of the items “NOT LISTED” in the strategic plan is selling the hospital. So, one of the items that is “not going on” is the sale of the hospital.
The hospital has not been sold, it is not for sale, and no hospital organization has approached the hospital about purchasing Wayne HealthCare. The board would need to recommend a potential sale and get approval from the Wayne Hospital Company. So, about 700, or so, of your friends and neighbors would know about the deal, not just one or two blog writers.
Most of the things that “are going on” are clearly visible to the community. The hospital completed a $47 million renovation and construction program in 2010 nearly doubling the size of the main hospital facility. As a result, the hospital has state of the art facilities in the Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit, Medical Imaging Services (x-ray), Cardio-Pulmonary Services, Perioperative Services (surgery) and Women’s Diagnostic Services.
These services and facilities are as good, or better, than most hospitals in Dayton, Cincinnati or Columbus. Not as visible, but equally important, is the fact that Wayne HealthCare has become nationally certified in Cancer Care and Endoscopy Services. We are a clinical trials site along with the Dayton hospitals in cancer treatment. The hospital won a national award for quality/safety and cost effectiveness and several statewide awards over the past several years.
One more thing “not going on” is the rumor about Wayne HealthCare going bankrupt. The $47 Million project was financed with a bond issue in late 2007. That bond issue was refinanced down to $30 Million in 2010. After paying down $17 Million of that debt, the hospital has nearly $50 Million in cash and other assets to support the $30 Million debt and hospital business operations.
Another activity that is “going on” is providing care to all those in need regardless of their ability to pay. In addition to accepting Medicaid patients, the hospital has a sliding fee scale for those with limited financial resources. Patients can receive a discount on services at a level of up to 200 percent of poverty. A 2009 statistic from the State of Ohio shows 200 percent of poverty for a family of four at $44,100 per year. For each 10 percent below that income level, you get a 10 percent discount on the price of the service. At poverty, the service is free.
2011 was a severely challenging year due to the economy. Projected business volumes were approximately 8 percent below budget and collections substantially below budget. Emergency room visits and obstetrical deliveries were above prior year totals. Most other business indicators were at or below the prior year.
For 2012, the business assumptions are for continued little or no growth in services rendered. The hospital submits a formal business plan to the Wayne HealthCare Board. The Operations Plan 2012 calls for a reduction in work force by as many as 40 FTEs to respond to the changing business volumes. The plan DOES NOT anticipate that a layoff is needed to achieve the planned reductions.
It is important to note that in business language, an FTE is not a person, it is an economic statistic. There are two general types of FTE. A “paid FTE” is paid for 2,080 hours per year fiscal year (40 hours per week times 52 weeks). Because of vacation, holidays and sick time, a “worked FTE” actually works about 1900 hours per year. The hospital gives out more than 650 paychecks every pay period to approximately 400 FTEs. The hospital also has natural turnover of around 10 percent per year. So, about 65 people will leave every year.
A way to better understand an FTE is as follows. Let’s say an employee works 40 hours of regular time and 20 hours of overtime in one week. That individual employee is actually 1.5 FTE for that week. That is one FTE for the 40 hour week, and an additional one-half of an FTE for the overtime. So, by eliminating overtime for that one employee, we have just reduced half of an FTE. Managing over time eliminates FTEs but not people.
Also, there will be jobs that are changed or eliminated? There have already been several changes in the six weeks of 2012. Hospitals have had x-ray and C/T equipment for many years. All of this equipment used to produce images on film. Most hospitals, including Wayne HealthCare, now have a system called a Picture Archiving Computer System (PACS). Virtually 100 percent of x-ray images are now digital and stored electronically. We no longer need film handlers and film filers. Also, we used to employ RNs, LPNs and Nurse Aides (CNAs). Wayne HealthCare has eliminated all new LPN positions in favor of the more rigorous education of RNs. The few remaining LPNs continue to work here, but will not be replaced when they leave or retire.
While some old positions go away, new ones are added. In 2011 Wayne HealthCare created Wayne HealthSports. We currently provide a certified athletic trainer to the Versailles schools. Two additional contracts have been provided to two more Darke County school systems for the 2012-13 school year. The trainers provide prompt response to athletic injuries during school athletic contests and during practices. In most cases, an athletic injury can begin evaluation and treatment at Wayne HealthCare within an hour of sustaining an injury.
In summary, Wayne HealthCare has not been sold and is not for sale. There is not some wholesale layoff waiting for 40 or more employees. Compared to hospitals throughout Ohio and the entire USA, Wayne HealthCare is in extremely good financial shape. This may not make for good “blog talk,” but those are the facts. We will continue to search for better and more cost effective ways to provide quality healthcare services to the residents of Darke County and surrounding areas.
Wayne Deschambeau is the President/CEO of Wayne HealthCare and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in these opinion pieces are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.