The Llano Hospital Authority Board of Directors meeting Thursday was the last before crossing a momentous dateline: April 1, 2008, the effective date of Scott & White’s management of Llano Memorial Healthcare System and the LMHS Hoerster Rural Healthcare Clinics becoming Scott & White Clinics.
The board officially terminated Chief Executive Officer Kevin Leeper so that Tuesday he could become the system’s first S&W employee to manage the system and it’s members congratulated Dr. David Hoerster on the completion of the transfer of Hoerster Clinics and its 22 physicians to S&W.
The board also welcomed Charles Miffleton as director of finance.
Miffleton says he brings with him a longstanding commitment to healthcare delivery in the area served by LMHS.
“It’s good to be back in my old stomping grounds,” said the San Saba native, whose mother still lives in his hometown. “I love the hospitality, freedom and small town culture that drives America.”
He brings with him his wife Karen and sons, Charlie, 15, and Joe, 11.
After earning a B.S. degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Miffleton went on to earn a master’s degree in healthcare administration from Texas State and made a career primarily with Department of Defense contractor companies. Most recently, in San Antonio, he worked with U.S. Army accounts receivables on the Surgeon’s General level.
He said he is prioritizing according to companies most likely to reimburse the most of some $4,991,714 in accounts that still languish in the past-90 day column as a result of the changeover to the Dairyland Health Information System (DHS) in Summer 2006.
“”We plan to work this like an accordian; squeeze from the middle, not forgetting today’s bills,” he said.
Leeper said that Dairyland had agreed to issue a long-sought letter recognizing their role in the problems with billing and accounts receivable. A settlement agreement was signed March 6 to pay Dairyland $200,000 against the $340,000 remaining on its bill for an equipment and software that fully integrates financial, clinical and administrative information and, in the near future, electronic medical records.
“Dairyland got a paycheck and they are on board with us,” said Leeper.
In regards to the physicians who serve Llano Memorial Hospital through Hoerster Clinics, Dr. Hoerster said that 22 out of 22 signed the agreement to become S&W physicians.
“Today our 23rd doctor walked in on it,” he said. “Dr. Ryan E.Morris, D.O. will be starting July 7 in Kingsland. He’ll be living in Llano the first two or three years doing obstetrics.”
“We are excited to become part of a health care organization with the rich history and reputation as one of the premier health care providers in the country,” said the official press announcement by Dr. Hoerster, president of the medical group and senior medical advisor for the LMHS. “We want all of our patients to know that we are not leaving them. The only thing that is changing is they will now get access to Scott & White resources through us. That means access to the largest multi-specialty group practice in Texas.”
The former Hoerster Clinics (Llano, Kingsland, San Saba, Mason, Marble Falls and Horseshoe Bay) will make up a new Hill Country Region of S&W clinics, to be added to the existing North and South Regions. Hill Country Region. Randall Grimshaw of the Llano Memorial Emergency Room staff, will be regional director.
On February 8, Scott & White officials and community leaders from the region capped a year-long negotiating and planning process by signing agreements that will bring a new regional medical center to the Hill Country. A key component of the plan was for the group practice to join Scott & White. The rest of the LMHS assets, including Llano Memorial Hospital, are to be assumed as soon as ground is broken on Lake of the Hills Regional Medical Center.
“Scott & White was started by physicians. We have a proud history of being a physician-led organization, and we are now 22 physicians stronger,” said Dr. Alfred Knight, president and CEO of Scott & White.
“The Hoerster physicians have provided high quality care for the Llano Memorial Healthcare System and Hill Country for decades,” said Dr. Glen Couchman, chief medical officer and chief operating officer for Scott & White regional operations. “They will continue to play a vital role in the future of this area.”
The Lake of the Hills Regional Medical center will be built on 40 acres located at the intersection of U.S. 281 and State Highway 71, just south of Marble Falls.
At the heart of the medical complex will be a 70 to 120-bed, full-service, acute-care hospital and medical office building, with an estimated cost of $140 million. Construction will begin once water lines are extended to the site.
Tuesday’s effective April 1 date saw Scott & White seamlessly begin to manage the Llano Memorial Healthcare System, which includes the 30-bed Llano Memorial Hospital and related facilities. Llano Memorial Hospital has been continuously operated since the mid-1950s, providing acute care and emergency medicine services for Llano County and Hill Country residents.
Physicians of the six Hoerster Clinics in San Saba, Mason, Marble Falls, Llano, Kingsland, and Horseshoe Bay include, Medical Doctors David Hoerster, Skylar Forrister, Louise Forrister, John Frederick, Janice Pruessner,Kelly Tucker, Jack Franklin, Warren Roche, Terry Turner,Scott Liggett, Kim Russell, Clark Craig, Michael Cravey, Javier Campos, Sidney Shinkawa, Kelly Offutt, Joseph Mantheiy, Randall Grimshaw, Wayne Martin, Paul Carstens, and Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine Grady Miller and Craig Whiting.
Scott & White is a not-for-profit, three-hospital health care system established in 1897. Recognized among the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals, Scott & White is the principal teaching facility affiliated with the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine. Along with its flagship hospital and clinic facility in Temple, Texas, Scott & White also includes its Continuing Care Hospital on Temple’s West Campus and the 72-bed acute care hospital at the University Medical Campus in Round Rock. With more than 650 physicians and scientists, Scott & White has become one of the nation’s largest multi-specialty group practice systems. Scott & White accepts most major insurance plans.
More information about the Lake of the Hills Regional Medical Center project is available at www.lohrmc.org