Davis Health CEO addresses healthcare

Mark Doak, president of Davis Health System, tackled the thorny topic of the changing climate of healthcare as the guest speaker at the Randolph County Chamber of Commerce’s luncheon Wednesday.

Along with Dr. Steven Toney, chairman of the board of DHS, Doak also addressed the value of a regional health system. DHS is a nonprofit, community based hospital system that serves a five-county area.

“We have a $48 million payroll and another $12 million in employee benefits,” Doak said. “Healthcare is expensive. I know, I’m in the business.”

Davis Memorial Hospital is the largest part of the system, which includes Broaddus Hospital, Doak said.

“Davis is a five-star facility among the top hospitals in the country when it comes to providing community value, according to Cleverley + Associates,” Doak said.

This year Davis Memorial Hospital was also ranked a Community Value Award Winner by Cleverly + Associates, a healthcare financial consulting firm.

Right now, the hospital is in transition, Doak said.

“We changed computer systems recently. It was the right thing to do,” he said. “It’s coming together now with electronic medical records. We had to go through the transition.”

Davis is also looking at needed organizational changes, Doak said.

“Seventy percent of what Davis does is outpatient. It’s the direction healthcare is headed,” Doak said, citing decreasing in-hospital stays nationally.

In spring 2014, Davis Health System will open a 73,000-square foot outpatient care center. Outpatient services will include: endoscopy, laboratory, pharmacy, radiological, registration and pre-admission, and surgical.

“All of healthcare is in transition,” Toney said. “What we’re hearing a lot of is ‘the right care to the right patient at the right time.’ Treatment in the office rather than the hospital, to save costs.”

Indicators of the changing climate that Doak and Toney are seeing include reductions in Medicare payment, declining reimbursement, and reduced revenues due to the sequestration.

“A lot of our patients are Medicare and Medicaid,” Doak said. “The sequestration hit us for $500,000. Everyone (Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance) is looking right now at why they don’t have to pay healthcare facilities. They’re using code errors to not pay.”

In response to an audience question about whether DHS was in the process of selling or merging the hospital, Doak responded with a “no.”

“We can never say never, but there are no plans at this time,” Doak said. “We don’t plan on getting married anytime soon. And we’re not even dating.”