New group will monitor HNH finances

Thursday, March 30, 2017

McCOOK, Neb. — A new committee was created by the Hillcrest Board of Trustees in an effort to check more closely into financial matters.

Suggested Tuesday at the regular board meeting by board member Randy Dean, the committee will delve into financial aspects of the nursing home, specifically the reason behind the hold-up of the annual audit. Mike Skolout and Mike Eklund will comprise the committee.

Hillcrest Administrator Colinda Nappa said she has been doing her part in trying to get the finalized audit. In response to questioning by Dean, she said repeated calls to the auditor have not been returned.

Dean appeared frustrated by this answer. “We have to get it fixed,” Dean said before suggesting a two-membered committee. “There are facts out there that need to be found out.” Dean, who works in the insurance industry, told Nappa he has called and talked to the auditor, from Grand Island, Neb., and according to him, the audit cannot be completed because of incomplete information.

“It’s being implied that I am hiding something and I am not, “ Nappa said.

“I work for the owner of the building, the taxpayer,” said Dean.

“So do we,” Nappa responded. The facility is owned by Red Willow County but operates on its own revenues.

Earlier in the meeting, Nappa explained they are using two software companies, one for accounts/receivable and accounts/payable, American Health Tech, and another for payroll, Premier. As the time clock is not yet mapped to the other software program, payroll numbers are accurate but not reflected in the other program, Nappa said.

Dean appeared frustrated at this. “It’s time we get an definitive answer,” he said.

Financial reports board members received Tuesday from Nappa included a 13-paged cash disbursement journal, that containing check dates and amounts for the month of February, a four-paged statement of operations and a 10-paged income statement consolidated. Figures in the consolidated statements included actual, budgeted, variance and year-to-date. However, due to the two software programs being used, many figures were marked in red as “unfavorable differences” due to the two software programs. Nappa said she’s hopeful the software issue can be resolved by the end of April.

Currently, there are 80 residents (with a capacity for 100), with eight in assisted living, 29 for private pay, 40 for Medicaid, eight in Medicare and three with the Veteran’s Administration.

In February, three residents were admitted, six dismissed, three passed away, one was transferred and one discharge.

According to the “Weekly Cash flow report” distributed at Tuesday’s meeting, total revenue due the facility is $769,117.13, with an estimated $15,665 due from Medicaid, $60,000 due from Medicare, $2,302 due from private pay and $12,968 due from the VA.

Payroll is estimated at $173,000 and critical bills due at $183,618.

Total cash in hand is $678,181.14, comprised of: $224,011.86 in general checking balance; $2,681.61 for Phase II balance (construction done previously at Hillcrest); $167,160.44 for bond payment due in September; $272,922.49, that consists of $96,922.49 for payroll and $176,000 for the Affordable Care Act penalty for not providing insurance to employees (Hillcrest give employees cash to buy insurance); $3,595.24 for gift balance and $7,809.50 in gift restricted balance.

Other issues at Tuesday’s meeting included:

* staffing report: 13 were hired in February, with two resigning, from housekeeping and nursing. The facility has a 8 percent turnover rate since January, which is good, Nappa said.

* the board was asked by Nappa for a mission statement for Hillcrest, with “A caring center” already its motto. Hillcrest Foundation’s motto is “Investing in all generations.” The board decided to let employees come up with a mission statement, either by posting a sign in the break room or by a suggestion box. The board will then come up with a mission statement using those suggestions.

* The board heard a presentation from a representative of Hillcrest’s current liability insurance provider, Quality First. Afterward, the board unanimously voted to renew its contract with them on May 1. Among other information, the insurance representative told the board that employee workmen’s compensation claims were down at the facility, with one of the lowest rates in the state for nursing homes, qualifying the facility for reduced rates.

* the facility did not get the bid to provide meals at Red Willow County Corrections Center. Nappa said there was a concern with transferring meals from Hillcrest to the jail and not utilizing the kitchen at the jail.

* Hillcrest’s maintenance director told the board that a trap to catch debris in the facility’s filter system would be cost-prohibitive, according to a company out of North Platte, Neb., that has been working with Hillcrest. Instead, it was recommended that the system be flushed with an chemical that would eat at the sediment caught in the pipes, a specialized acid that will not damage plastic pipes. The system would be flushed in fall.

* a drug-free workplace policy will be effective May 1, where drug testing of employees will be done prior to offer of employment and on a quarterly basis. An abuse policy was also updated to include checking licensing boards for Medicaid fraud by doctors and PAs.

* additional staff has had dementia and communication training and the entire facility has implemented new industry practices concerning wake procedures for residents. In addition, several employees have passed medication aide tests and other employees have been accepted into a LPN or RN program.