Twiddle kept the jams flowing at the College Street Music Hall last weekend, hitting the famed New Haven, CT venue for two nights on Friday and Saturday. The band had some fun on night one with members of Dopapod and Kung Fu, and the musical magic continued with a great second showing in Connecticut.Due to an illness, keyboardist Ryan Dempsey was unable to perform, and Josh Dobbs from Cats Under The Stars filled in for the entire night. The show also featured Adrian Tramontano of Kung Fu, who added percussion to the entire performance as well. Twiddle’s core members, Mihali, Zdenek, and Brook Jordan, were only amplified by the new energy on stage, opening with “White Light” and keeping the set rocking throughout.The band also welcomed their fair share of special guests on night two, including Teddy Midnight guitarist Wiley Griffin at points during both sets. The West End Blend Horns also made an appearance, joining in on “Polluted Beauty” and “Lost In The Cold” at the end of set one. Finally, Kung Fu bassist Chris DeAngelis appeared in the show-closing “Latin Tang,” even getting in to a bass battle with Zdenek Gubb. When bassists battle, we all win.You can listen to a full audio recording of the show below, courtesy of Matt Moricle.See the full uTwiddle setlist, posted below.Setlist: Twiddle at College Street Music Hall, New Haven, CT – 9/10/16Set 1: White Light, Brick Of Barley, Second Wind, Polluted Beauty, Lost In The ColdSet 2: Dusk ‘Til Dawn, Beethoven and Greene, Carter Candlestick > Jamflowman > Frankenfoote, Latin TangShow Notes: This show was a part of the “Festively Plump” 2016 summer tour. The entire show featured Josh Dobbs (Cats Under The Stars) sitting in on keys for Ryan who did not play due to illness as well as Adrian Tramontano (Kung Fu) sitting in on auxilary drums. Aqueous opened the show. “Brick Of Barley” & “Beethoven and Greene” featured Wiley Griffin (Teddy Midnight) on guitar. “Polluted Beauty” & “Lost In The Cold” featured The West End Blend Horns. “Latin Tang” featured Chris DeAngelis (Kung Fu) on bass and featured a bass duel with Zdenek.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The Weekend RiotJohnny Costa and Bruce Weigner comprise the must-watch Weekend Riot, hailing from Philly, who aim to break the conventional pop music mold. Armed with numerous covers, as well as original hits, such as “25 Minutes” and “Remember This Night,” this duo has been wowing crowds since 2014, both in live shows and on their popular YouTube channel. They dig engaging the audience at shows, so attendees should be prepared to participate, and of course, rock out! Warming up the crowd are Vista, Kenzie Moore, Sarah Barrios, Call The Station and Jenna Rose. Revolution Bar & Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. revolutionli.com $15. 5:30 p.m. Oct. 20.MaryAnn DiMarcoThis psychic medium and author will be signing copies of her new book Believe, Ask, Act: Divine Steps to Raise Your Intuition, Create Change, and Discover Happiness, and sharing her spiritual journey as a communicator to the afterlife. Get ready to be amazed, and if you have any questions about loved ones who’ve passed on, ask her. Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. bookrevue.com Free with purchase of book. 7 p.m. Oct. 20.Chase RiceThis country superstar has a way of inspiring audiences and soothing listeners’ souls. Not your grandmama’s country singer, Rice blends elements of hip hop, rock, pop and electronic music to bring a refreshingly new dynamic to the classic genre. “Gonna Wanna Tonight” is his second Top 5 country radio hit after “Ready Set Roll” went platinum. This rockin’ show definitely won’t disappoint! Supporting acts include Ryan Hurd & Lacy Cavalier. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $30-$75. 8 p.m. Oct. 20.Martin BarreEnglish rock musician Martin Barre is best known for his membership in progressive rock band Jethro Tull from 1969 through 2014, and his solo career has spawned four studio albums, with no signs of stopping. Infamous for his incredible four-minute solos at the beginning of Jethro Tull’s songs “Quatrain” and “Conundrum,” Barre continues to explore and construct “tricky complex melodies” on his acoustic guitar, which critics say are “elegant even when he is rocking hard.” His most recent album releases include Order of Play and Back to Steel, featuring more experimentation as well as remnants of his favorite techniques from Jethro Tull’s glory days. Not to be missed. YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $40-$45. 8 p.m. Oct. 20.MORE THINGS TO DO: Long Island Halloween Events 2016LattermanThese Huntington hellraisers are known for melodic punk rock with shouted dual vocals from Phil Douglas and Matt Canino, incendiary guitars, and socially conscious lyrics. They officially split in 2007, but have been rocking sporadic reunion shows since ’11. Resurrecting hits like “No Matter Where We Go” and “Turn Up the Punk,” among many other local faves, this gig is destined for the books. Opening the show are Wax Phantom and Way Harsh. Revolution Bar & Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. revolutionli.com $18, $20 DOS. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21. Jessie’s GirlBreak out the Converse, strap on a headband and dust off the jean jacket, because this Back to the Eighties Show will do everything short of taking you in a Delorean back to the decade when Men at Work, Flock of Seagulls and Debbie Gibson ruled the airwaves. That’s because Jessie’s Girl is more than just a cover band. They’re here to party like it’s 1989! Get ready to dance, dance, dance! The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $15-$30. 8 p.m. Oct. 21.Jessie’s GirlKevin Griffin This guitarist, vocalist, producer and songwriter founded alternative rock band Better Than Ezra in 1988, and brings it back to New York to play their big hits, including ones from their most recent album, All Together Now. Griffin is known for his big stage personality, falsettos, inviting audience members onstage to play instruments, skilled mimicry of singers like Bruce Springsteen and Aaron Neville and interruptions of his songs with verses from popular rock ballads. Wow. YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $25-$30. 8 p.m. Oct. 21.Gathering TimeWith strong roots in traditional folk as well as ’60s and ’70s folk-rock, this trio’s recently-released fourth album, Keepsake, debuted at No. 1 on the Folk DJ Charts in March. This is a chance to catch these talented musicians live, all up close and personal, in the intimate setting, while sipping a hot, welcoming latte. Definitely worth checking out, especially with high-octane caffeine. Our Times Coffeehouse, 38 Old Country Rd., Garden City. ourtimescoffeehouse.org $10-$15. 8 p.m. Oct. 21.MORE THINGS TO DO: Long Island Halloween Haunted Houses 2016Blue RootsThis five-piece blues band is not to be missed. At every show, they bring a special attitude and energy that is simply contagious. They cover songs from The Allman Brothers to Hank Williams, and always keep blues at the root of each tune. Blue Roots offers strong vocals, creative arranging, and top-notch instrumental delivery. This high-energy ensemble will be sure to bring a fantastic show. Treme Blues and Jazz Club, 553 Main St., Islip. tremeislip.com $10. 8 p.m. Oct. 21.Young M.A.Brooklynite Young M.A. is storming the rap scene, with more than 1.8 million views of her “Brooklyn (Chiraq Freestyle)” video on YouTube. She’s been featured in Rolling Stone and as a top performer at the 2016 BET Hip Hop Awards as she makes a name for herself as a serious up-and-coming artist. Authentically exploring her life as a young Brooklyn storyteller, cultural arbiter and entertainer, Young M.A. speaks her truth as a female rapper in a delightfully raspy voice, with her most recent summer anthem “OOOUUU” gaining tremendous success, just like past hits “Body Bag” and “Karma Krys.” Also performing will be DJ Self, DJ ALLSTAR and DJ Will. The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue. theemporiumny.com $20. 10 p.m. Oct. 21. Giuseppe Verdi’s La TraviataStar tenor and director Rolando Villazón brings his unique vision to the immense and tragic love story of Violetta and Alfredo, setting Verdi’s masterpiece within the vibrant world of the circus. Olga Peretyatko, recently seen as Gilda in Paris Opera’s Rigoletto, stars as Verdi’s enthralling and heartbreaking heroine, alongside the young Brazilian tenor Atalla Ayan. This film screening will take place in the Concert Hall. Adelphi University Performing Arts Center (AUPAC), 1 South Ave., Garden City. aupac.adelphi.edu $20. 2 p.m. Oct. 22.MORE THINGS TO DO: Long Island Pumpkin Picking Guide 2016Lisa LampanelliThis is one comedian that doesn’t hold back. “The Queen of Mean,” as she’s known, is not afraid to push a few buttons in her quest to insult anyone—especially celebrities—with a pulse. Seriously, no one is safe. Get ready for some cringe-inducing jokes, spiked with an extra shot of attitude and moxie. Lampanelli has performed at the top comedy clubs in the country, and her comedy specials have aired on a number of cable TV networks, including HBO and Comedy Central. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $39.50-$89. 8 p.m. Oct. 22.Anderson, Rabin & Wakeman – An Evening of Yes Music & MoreFounded in January 2016, these hellraisers bridge generations of legendary singers with vocalist John Anderson, guitarist/singer Trevor Rabin, and keyboardist Rick Wakeman, all formerly of the band Yes, the most successful prog rock group of all time. With old favorites such as classic ’80s hit “Owner of a Lonely Heart” to new songs created recently, this tour is constructed by legendary concert producer Larry Magid, bringing back past and future glory of the band after a 25-year hiatus. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $89.50-$135. 8 p.m. Oct. 22.MORE THINGS TO DO: Long Island Fall Festivals and Fairs 2016Bernadette PetersThis singer and actress is known for her five-decade career and as one of the most critically acclaimed Broadway performers, with nominations for seven Tony Awards, wining two, and nine Drama Desk Awards. She is known for her roles on Broadway in shows like Mack and Mabel, Song and Dance and Gypsy. Her tour will be jammed packed as she performs signature songs from some of the Broadway shows in which she has starred. Peters will dazzle the crowd and have audience members mesmerized. Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, 71 East Main St., Patchogue. patchoguetheatre.org $65. 8 p.m. Oct. 22.Music Factory Presents A Tribute NightThis trifecta of tribute bands includes Tom Sadge, a Neil Diamond tribute; Idol Kings, a Journey tribute; and Stand Bac, aka “The Real Fleetwood Mac Tribute.” Need we say more? This is surely going to be one musical smorgasbord for the books. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $35. 8 p.m. Oct. 22.Maniac At LargeThis one-night only double-feature screens the 1980 serial killer flick Maniac and its shocking sequel, Maniac Cop 2. Director William Lustig will be on hand to discuss both films! Get ready to be terrified and amazed! Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $18-$22. 10 p.m. Oct. 22.Laura Lynne JacksonThis homegrown psychic medium and bestselling author will be hosting a one-night event in which she will be conducting a special reading of the audience. Jackson is one of the 19 scientifically certified psychics in the world, and has read for hundreds of different people. Her abilities have made her one of the most requested psychics by the media. This will truly be an unforgettable night! Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, 71 East Main St., Patchogue. patchoguetheatre.org $45. 3 p.m. Oct. 23.MORE THINGS TO DO: Long Island Oktoberfest 2016 EventsRoomful of BluesThe lightning-in-a-bottle blowout blues band that gave rise to some of genre’s greatest legends will be in full swing showcasing the jumping, swinging, rocking side of the blues with alums including Ronnie Earl and Duke Robillard. They will be joined by local blues greats Kerry Kearney, known for his soaring slide guitar leads, along with an acoustic set by this generation’s next great acoustic bluesman, Rob Europe. Suffolk Theater, 118 E. Main St., Riverhead. suffolktheater.com $39. 7 p.m. Oct. 23.Rumer WillisThis talented actress and singer is the daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore. She is well known for winning season 20 of Dancing With The Stars, with partner Valentin Chmerkovskiy. Earlier this month, she set out on her Over The Love Tour, which features a post-modern cabaret. Her set list features many classics, with hits from Billie Holiday to Amy Winehouse. Her powerhouse voice will capture the crowd, and everyone will be singing along. YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $45-$50. 7 p.m. Oct. 23.StyxThis multi-platinum-selling band’s self-described mission to conquer the planet, one venue at a time, remains solidly on track. Put rock and roll legends Tommy Shaw, James “JY” Young, Lawrence Gowan, Todd Sucherman and Ricky Phillips together (along with the occasional surprise appearance by the original bassist Chuck Panozzo) on stage, and their power is unstoppable. When they get rolling and their freak flag is flowing, they’ll blow the roof off, with their classic rock standards like “Come Sail Away,” “Lady” and “Mr. Roboto.” NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $39.50-$124.50. 8 p.m. Oct. 23.MORE THINGS TO DO: Apple Picking on Long Island 2016Colbie Caillat This beachy, Grammy Award-winning California acoustic pop singer/songwriter rose to fame in 2007 with popular hits “Bubbly” and “Realize,” and has won the hearts of many with her upbeat, feel-good songs. Some of her other chart-topping hits include “Try,” “I Never Told You,” “Fallin’ For You,” “Brighter Than the Sun” and “I Do.” This year, Caillat is beginning a new chapter in her life, with the release of her brand new album, The Malibu Sessions. Get ready, because this concert will sure be a breath of fresh air. Opening the show are Justin Young & High Dive Heart. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $29.50-$69.60. 8 p.m. Oct. 23.SEED: The Untold StoryIn celebration of National Food Day comes this harrowing and heartening David vs. Goliath story about passionate seed keepers fighting against chemical seed companies. This documentary follows reluctant heroes rekindling a lost connection to our most treasured resource and revive a culture connected to seed. Guest speakers Ken Ettlinger, Steph Gaylor and Cheryl Frey Richards from Long Island Regional Seed Consortium will guide discussion following the film. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $10-$15. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24.Arts Matter!An opening reception will be held for this 19-piece exhibit featuring local artists in a juried art contest. The words were all inspired by the North Shore of Nassau County. Talk about transcendental artistic translations! North Hempstead Town Hall is located at 220 Plandome Road in Manhasset. www.northhempsteadny.gov/btdc Free. 6 p.m. Oct.25.Dr. Andrea LibuttiThis doctor, autism specialist and local author will be signing copies of her new book Awakened by Autism: Embracing Autism, Self, And Hope for a New World. Hear her story, ask questions, and be inspired! Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. bookrevue.com Free with purchase of book. 7 p.m. Oct. 26.Henry RollinsThe former frontman of influential hardcore punk band Black Flag who later became an actor, writer and radio and TV show host, is taking his politically provocative spoken word show back on the road. As with any of his gigs, expect it to be spiced with rage as well as wit. He has much to discuss. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $30-$40. 8 p.m. Oct. 26.The Dirty HeadsSince the release of their 2008 debut album Any Port in a Storm, this five-piece has been fusing reggae and hip-hop into a unique, absolutely infectious hybrid of pure enjoyment. Expect hits off all five of their albums, and expect to be floored. You will surely need some “Oxygen” after singing along all night at this concert! Supporting acts include New Beat Fund and RDGLDGRN. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $30-$69.50. 8 p.m. Oct. 26.Main Art: Acoustic pop songstress Colbie Caillat brings her beachy, feel-good tunes to The Paramount on Oct. 23! (Photo: Colbie Caillat official Facebook profile)-Compiled by Ellie Schoeffel, Natalie Coloprisco, Timothy Bolger & Zachary B. Tirana III
by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow â€” To put things in perspective, the amount of money the Wellington City Council gave Sumner Regional Medical Center last week, $880,476 out of its contingency fund, is more money than what the half-cent sales tax generated in a year. A half-cent sales tax usually brings in $50,000 a month revenue to the hospital or about $600,000 annually.But SRMC Administrator Leonard Hernandez is optimistic that it is a one time event. The hospital is in a state of flux and a lot of it is about timing. He is convinced the potential is there for better days ahead.Leonard HernandezWe sat down with Hernandez for a one-on-one interview outlining the current state of finances at SRMC and what the future may be for the premier health clinic in Sumner County. Sumner Newscow: What has caused SRMC to be in such a dire financial situation as of late?Hernandez:Â Everyone is aware we lost (Wellington Family Practice) clinic at the end of May in 2013 and Dr. Janelle Yutzie (a former SRMC surgeon) a couple years ago. With those people in place the hospital was generating $88,000 a day in revenue. That number dropped to the mid-60s when they all left and that is where it has stayed. Last year. we had to get a surgeon and we did that with the hiring of Mr. (Gregg) Shore.The trouble is he hasnâ€™t gotten all of his credentialing with the various healthcare agencies completed and some of that can take 30 to 90 days. Once he gets his full credentialing intact, he will be go full steam ahead.SN: What did that $880,000 pay for?Hernandez: Iâ€™m not going to get into a lot of specifics where the money went. There were some issues we had been talking with the city for a couple months and these were the best places that we felt needed taking care of immediately.SN: Can you at least tell us what that money was going toward?Hernandez: One is KPERS. Another are the various accounts payable that have been due past 60 days. Cerner, our software company is a monthly payment program. Impact (Bank) was part of a loan repayment agreement and we needed to pay the initial $135,000 for a line of credit in 2013.SN: Does this put you back to where you need to be with your creditors?Hernandez: It puts us back on a 30-day payment schedule. SN: You lost a quarter-cent sales tax (which sunset in April). How has that affected the hospital?Hernandez: We lost around $25,000 a month. Thatâ€™s why we are talking to the city about an additional half-cent sales tax referendum because we feel that will keep us going.SN: Do you think that is going to be a tough sell?Hernandez: Yes, it will be a tough sell. But if we can present it outlining our long-term strategies and convince them it is affordable to the public, I believe the community will listen.SN: How would you define SRMCâ€™s financial state if it was a corporation? Would you invest in its stock?Hernandez: Thatâ€™s an interesting question. Right now we are operating at a $60,972 profit (see income statement here: SRMC income statement April 2014. However, we received a $834,000 incentive payment in March for electronic records reimbursements which is a program through Medicare. If you took that out we would be losing $160,000 a month. We have a couple of more payments on our electronic records and that will dry up. SN: It sounds to me like you are in desperate need of another source of funding. Do you have anything down the pike?Hernandez: Well Iâ€™m glad you asked. Iâ€™ve been told since coming here that this hospital could not be a Sole Community Provider which is a Medicare designation or a critical access hospital because of our location. We are part of the Wichita MSA – Metropolitan Statistical Area which the county joined on when that was offered years ago. Because of that status we have not been able to join those programs.But I was doing some research last weekend (this interview was conducted on Friday), and I think we could prove we could become a Sole Community Provider. In order for that to happen, we need to get some designation from a state or a national group that says we are â€œrural.â€ If we are able to opt out of the MSA, then that makes us eligible to becoming a Sole Community Provider. Then we can apply. It would be a two-prong process.SN: Do we have a chance of getting that done?Hernandez: I was looking and in a 2013 report by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment on medicine, Sumner County is listed as a densely populated â€œruralâ€ county. Because the â€œruralâ€ designation is there, the people Iâ€™ve been talking with, like auditors, feel that will be enough to apply and opt out of the MSA. If we can find others, who can call us rural, this will help our cause even further.SN: So what do they have us designated now?Hernandez: We are urban.SN: So what would happen next if we were declared a â€œruralâ€ county?Hernandez: Our goal is to have this in place by October 1, so we can be a sole community hospital before the federal fiscal year. If that happens, we would then be able to get higher reimbursements for in-patient care and cost-based reimbursements on our labs. That would be huge for us.You are talking literally $100,000s of dollars. I started working on it on Monday and talked to a lot of people in the know and they think we have a good shot.I was an administrator in Elkhart and that hospital was a Sole Community Provider and I canâ€™t imagine that we donâ€™t meet the same criteria as that hospital out there (in western Kansas).SN: You have worked at both Elkhart and Wellington. Do you think the hospitals are comparable?Hernandez: They are now. You can go to all the western Kansas hospital towns and they are having the same discussions as we are.Hospitals are going to their cities and counties asking for more money. You see that up and down the map. There are not many independent hospitals left. The problem is small-town hospitals have to compete with the big boys, like Wesleys and the Via Christis, and that is impossible to do.SN: So are these hospitals going to survive?Hernandez: Well, they are doing what they have to do and a lot of them are increasing taxes. A lot of them are talking about being something less than a hospital like a federally qualified health center. Those decisions are tough to make and the change is going to be very big.People want their hospitals. If you had one you donâ€™t want to lose one.SN: Itâ€™s hard for a town to grow without a hospital.Hernandez: Absolutely.SN: Do you think the financial situation is worse in Wellington than other hospitals in Kansas?Hernandez: I donâ€™t think it is any worse. Many hospitals across the state are having the same financial problems that we are having. A lot of those hospitals are critical access hospitals and are getting 101 percent reimbursements on medicare costs which constitutes 70 to 80 percent of their volume. And yet they are still not able to fully fund themselves and be self sufficient without tax money.The financial assistance we have had in the past with the half cent sales tax is considerably less than those rural hospitals receive on an annual basis as a critical access hospital. We are not eligible for that program because of our proximity to Wichita. But again we have a chance by being a Sole Community Provider.SN: Does SRMC have to redefine what a hospital is?Hernandez: No I donâ€™t think so. What I think we will have to do is enhance the services that we are good at.When I came here we had 143 FTEs (full time employees). I think we have 128 now. We made some tough decisions. On the other side of the coin we have added two highly paid positions: the CRNA (nurse anesthetist) and a surgeon.We may have dropped our salary level on one side, but now we have two additional salaries on the other and it doesnâ€™t reflect a change in the financial statements.But we needed a surgeon and that was the best shot we have with turning the hospital around.SN: Is losing these employees affecting the quality of care at the hospital?Hernandez: We have been surveyed by Medicare on the hospital side, the lab side, the radiology side, the skilled nursing side, and we had just one deficiency cited. There isnâ€™t another hospital in the area maybe in the state that can make that claim.When people want to talk about quality, I feel very confident with the quality of the services and care we provide.Now would we like to be busier? Of course, we do.SN: Do we have less patients than we have had in the past at SRMC?Hernandez: If you look at the statistics (see here:Â SRMC inpatient admissions.)Â and the average number of patience we take in a year at our hospital, nothing has changed. Even with all the the major things that have happened in the community with the doctors and the surgeon, we havenâ€™t had any major changes in the volume of patients at the hospital.Where you do see the big change is in the out-patient services.SN: And how do you fix that?Hernandez: We do very well with BHU (Behavior Health Unit), skilled nursing and residential services. The BHU has been asking for additional beds. So we started thinking about increasing the size of the BHU unit from 10 to 14 beds by moving them to the main floor (it is currently upstairs). The jump in beds would generate an additional $150,000 net a year for the hospital.What that will do is free up more rooms upstairs for residential housing. Those rooms generate about $5,200 a month – all cash. We currently have had to turn people away on residential housing because there is such a big demand for it. We can do this without affecting the number of beds available for acute care.This wonâ€™t happen immediately. It will be a long term process, and take up to five years. Barring some major changes in acute admissions this will be additional revenue for the hospital.Those expansions with BHU and residential along with having a surgeon are keys to making this hospital financially viable for the long-term.SN: You and the city council had four-hour of executive session before the city allocated $880,000. Are you going to have to do that again?Hernandez: I donâ€™t think we will have to. Letâ€™s give the city council a lot of credit for the decision they had to make. They knew the viability of the hospital was at stake. They want to see the hospital succeed. But they want us to do as much as we can on our own.That is why these designations and these other proposals are so important.SN: How about the Affordable Healthcare Act, aka Obamacare? How is that going to affect the hospital?Hernandez: The biggest thing that hurts us are uninsured people coming into the hospital. Part of that is the state not accepting the Medicaid money provided through Obamacare.There are an estimated 200,000 people that could have been covered by that Medicaid. Those are the same people who come into our E.R. several times a month.By not getting Medicaid payment, it is estimated by several groups like KHA (Kansas Hospital Association) that it costs us $200,000 to $300,000 a year that would have come to us if the state accepted that money.SN: Are there other areas where we can get additional funding?Hernandez: We knew we had to enhance our coding (the billing process). So we outsourced our coding in March.Since March, the outsource company has generated $5.2 million in accounts receivable for the hospital which is a huge difference than what we had a year ago. The goal is to bill our patients in a more timely manner, 60 days or less. Right now, our billing process is at 78 days. If we have accounts over 70, there is a blunder in the system. If we get under 60 days, that is a big gain and a huge potential for additional cash.For every bill we send out we expect 42 cents to 60 cents in return. I know when you bill you expect full payment. But for hospitals that is not the way of the world. Thatâ€™s why we have to increase reimbursement with that rural designation. Itâ€™s huge for us.SN: Sounds like you have lots of opportunities. Are you optimistic about the hospital?Hernandez: Absolutely. We have done our best to keep the staff informed. We are all in this together. We need it to work. Iâ€™ve been here a year-and-a-half now but I knew walking in it would be a three-year project. Now we have some things to grab onto and be the hospital we can be.Does that mean we will be self sufficient? Probably not. But it means we will be the best model we can be after three years. It will take that long.Follow us on Twitter. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (17) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +16 Vote up Vote down No one special · 322 weeks ago Interesting, everyone has something to say now….. Nothing. Thank you Mr. Hernandez for enlightening us with the above information. The community needed this as well as the employees. Let’s all take this and go forward hopeful for the future. Report Reply 0 replies · active 322 weeks ago +7 Vote up Vote down CueballSumnernewscow 94p · 322 weeks ago No one special, it reminds me of that old saying, “My mind is made up. Don’t confuse me with facts.” Report Reply 1 reply · active 322 weeks ago +13 Vote up Vote down Chad · 322 weeks ago Very good information, Mr. Hernandez doesn’t try to cover anything in sugar. It’s up to us whether we want a hospital or not. Report Reply 0 replies · active 322 weeks ago +1 Vote up Vote down Leadership · 322 weeks ago What struck me with this interview is that the hospital appears to be in the right hands with Hernandez. With the current situation, it’s absolutely necessary to have strong leadership and vision in place, and he appears to have both. You can’t hide from the problems, you have to work to overcome them, and he provided at least 4 examples of plans to do exaclty that. Hope is on the horizon, though it will not be easy. Report Reply 0 replies · active 322 weeks ago +7 Vote up Vote down Jim Miller · 322 weeks ago I hope we can get the change to RURAL as we are a very rural community. By no means do I consider Wellington surburban and the fact they placed the casino up north should attest to it. Report Reply 0 replies · active 322 weeks ago -2 Vote up Vote down guest2 · 322 weeks ago yes, Mr Hernandez was in Elkhart. We could not become a critical access hospital because we had too many beds, an ICU unit and 1 mile too close to another critical access hospital. There was a time when we could have been grandfathered in, but Mr. Hernandez did not see fit to make Elkhart a critical access rural hospital, which we could have had increased reimbursments from Medicare and possibly from medicaide. Now there is talk with “Obama Care” that they will do away with the critical access rural designation thus lowering the payments a facility will get. So is it worth the monetary output to obtain this designation? As for Mr Hernandez not covering up the hospital situation, take a good hard look at the financial situation in Elkhart. It did not happen overnite and has been in the making for a number of years. Having been a former employee of the old St. Lukes, it saddens my heart to hear of the ongoing problems. I still have family in Wellington and was hoping to retire and return home. If there is not a viable hospital, it could change my plans. Report Reply 0 replies · active 322 weeks ago -3 Vote up Vote down guest2 · 322 weeks ago cont. from previous: Has your administration been reading and understanding the changes in health care laws? They are staggering, but necessary to how to manage the flow of exams and what is allowed and not allowed. The worse part for the patients anymore is the neccessity for precertification of exams, what cna be done on the same day and what exams are required to be done on another seperate day. I am not familiar with your behavior unit, but at Elkhart we had a geriatric psych unit. While Mr. Hernandez was there, we(employees) were told that this was a money generating unit. Recently our psychologist retired. In reviewing the financials to keep this unit open it was discovered that it was losing $450,000-500,000 a year. In 2007 there was a change in medicare regulations that was ignored or not noted. Yes, this happened during the time that Mr. Hernandez was CEO at Elkhart. I feel that before the BHU is expanded, maybe an independent audit of the monetary income this unit generates should be done and studied. I hope and pry that the finances can eventually improve and have a healthy hospital as I still have friends that are employed here. Report Reply 0 replies · active 322 weeks ago +11 Vote up Vote down Leonard R Hernandez · 322 weeks ago I would like to share the facts about the comments mentioned above. First of all, I never ignored an opportunity to change the designation from Sole Community Hospital to Critical Access Hospital status. From 2003 to 2005 volume kept us from applying for CAH status. This was verified annually by BKD our auditing firm. After January 1,2006 the state’s authority to grant the 35 mile distance waiver expired and has never been available again ! As for changing regulations effecting the reimbursement of the Gero psych unit everyone , Board Administration and Staff were all aware that the cost based reimbursement was being phased out over 4 years. Decisions were made by all involved to continue to fund and staff the unit according to patient acuity and need because our psychiatrist and our entire unit staff were well known for the quality care. This unit was also always seen as a feeder to the entire health system, including the hospital, clinic ,nursing home, special care unit and the assisted living complex. I pride myself of staying abreast of current and changing regulations. Report Reply 0 replies · active 322 weeks ago +6 Vote up Vote down Chad · 322 weeks ago Keep moving forward Mr. Hernandez. It won’t be an easy road but as stated above you have a plan and undoubtedly will have to be adjusted as things change moving forward. It appears you are in a no win situation but your leadership and experience have the best chance to keep SRMC going. Report Reply 0 replies · active 322 weeks ago +9 Vote up Vote down Citizen · 322 weeks ago The Board needs to do everything in its power to retain the current CEO. His contract is only a 3 year term, as far as I understand. He understands what it’s going to take for SRMC’s survival, if that’s what the community wants. Report Reply 0 replies · active 322 weeks ago 12Next » Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. 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