Philip Health Services, Inc. holds annual meeting

by Del Bartels
“The staff has been very good; a lot of obstacles covered and a lot of obstacles to overcome yet,” said Don Burns, president of the Philip Health Services, Inc., Board of Directors.
The PHSI annual meeting was April 24 in the ambulance service building. All were welcome to attend, and, unlike years ago, extra chairs were needed to hold the large audience.
Jeremy Schultes, chief of operations, summarized the standing of PHSI since 2016. “Since February 2017 we have put a lot of emphasis on primary care, emergency care and senior care. What came out of that, is a lot more of emphasis on senior care.” Concerning the Philip Nursing Home and the Silverleaf Assisted Living Center, “We changed our philosphy in how we use those beds,” as Schultes explained utilizing higher levels of care, bringing back patients and residents to their hometown area.
Schultes gave accolades of PHSI being a huge employer to this area (150 employees), of its impact to a large region of western South Dakota, and its increasing quality to patients. He then stated what would become almost a theme of this meeting, “If our quality of care is high, our finances are high. If our quality of care diminishes, so do our finances.”
Jennifer Henrie, Krista O’Dea and J’Nai Hauk presented a lengthy care giver update. Henrie stressed that PHSI has always given good care, but had to work on increasing its documentation and getting that documentation to reimbursing agencies.
Concerning long-term care, in early 2017, the Quality Improvement Organization, which ranks nursing homes, used limited documentation to place Philip Nursing Home at 110 out of the 110 nursing homes in South Dakota. By February 2018, the local nursing home was already ranked at 81. Hopefully, this will continue to the point that the nursing home reaches a very selective five-star rating.
Concerning acute care, PHSI is striving for increased diversity in its transitional care and rehabilitation. The therapy department – originally just two care givers – has grown to now include almost every facet of rehabilitation. “We do our darndest to make sure the patients are ready to go home,” said Hauk. Though now taking in a wider area of rehabilitation aspects as well as a wider geographica region, the number one goal is to still help people in the local community.
Concerning assisted living, the staff at the Silverleaf, through training, can take on a higher level of care.
Mark Lyons represented Casey Peterson and Associates, a certified public accounting firm hired by PHSI. Lyons said there is a direct correllation between quality, documentation and compliance, “a reflection of money in the bank and leadership. The progress they have made is very impressive.”
The PHSI current assets versus current liabilities is almost two to one, a good ration. Though he displayed many charts and graphs full of numbers, he said PHSI and the audience must pay attention to trends. “What we want to see here is an upward trend,” said Lyons.
In 2016, PHSI had only an estimated 11 days of operating cash on hand at any given time, and was pretty much kept afloat by electronic records incentives provided by the federal and state governments. “Coming out of 2016, PHSI decided to take on more challenging patients,” reported Lyons. Now, the care provided by PHSI is supporting PHSI. Lyons said the Philip Nursing Home rates were increased, because they had to be.
Lyons said major improvements in nursing capabilities have honed profitability. Also, an increased financial rate is because of better documentation – documentation of almost every function of PHSI and its day-to-day actions with each patient/resident.
Board member Larry Gabriel interjected a hard fact, “It is not how full we are in the nursing home or the hospital, it is who.” A higher care patient creates more profitability. And, certain government programs (Medicare versus Medicaid), private insurances and private pay patients show more profitability than others. And, there is the collection from various paying methods.
Lyons concluded, “A 30-bed facility generating a profit is very difficult. I think it is a must for the future and viability of PHSI to make the nursing home expansion happen.”
Gabriel added caution on the expansion plans, stressing that funds are needed. “A pretty grandious plan. We must make sure of cash flow. Hopefully we can see that before we talk to the bank.”

The Pioneer Review

221 E. Oak Street
Philip, SD 57567
Telephone: (605) 859-2516
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