We’re excited to report that the affiliation with UCSF Health has been finalized and is moving ahead. Initially, this will involve working with UCSF to identify a new SVH medical director and forming the Joint Operations Committee which consists of hospital senior management and physician leadership from both sides. It will have responsibility for accomplishing the goals of the agreement.
We will be reporting throughout the year on affiliation decisions and developments. In the meantime, the hospital will begin phasing in the updated identity in hospital signage and communications identifying SVH as a UCSF affiliate.
3D Mammography Center Opens
I’m pleased to report that the hospital’s new 3D Mammography Center is ready and will begin serving patients later this month. (In the meantime, 2D Mammography is available.) This new technology is extremely important for our community as it increases the accuracy of mammography. 3D mammography takes multiple images that create a 3D image of the breast, which makes it easier to detect breast cancer and avoid false positives compared with traditional mammography, which obtains just a single 2D image.
Thanks to the community for the philanthropic contributions that made this new capability possible! Thanks to the Hospital Foundation for their leadership. And thanks to the dedicated staff at the hospital for their persistence and expertise in getting this new equipment in place and approved.
Community Health Center
As I mentioned previously, this year we’re inviting community partners to board meetings to brief us on their programs and discuss area of both existing and possible collaboration. Our first guest was Sonoma Valley Community Health Center (“CHC”) CEO Cheryl Johnson, who had a great deal of positive news to report.
She noted that the CHC has seen an increase in patient visits over the past five years, and now serves 80 percent of the clients in our area eligible to receive services. The CHC is now fully staffed and has added dental and pharmacy services, and revamped its behavioral health services. Cheryl also noted that the CHC has received recognition for its quality performance.
The Health Center is an important partner to SVH, and we congratulate Cheryl and her team on their successes of the past year.
SVH Strategic Plan
Each year since 2010 the hospital has updated its three-year rolling strategic plan which guides hospital administration in setting priorities aimed at improving hospital performance in all areas. It’s become an invaluable tool for administration, one that helps the hospital stay focused on strategic priorities during the year as well as the measures of success.
A committee made up of board members, physicians and hospital leaders who bring diverse perspectives collaboratively develop the plan. The hospital has begun developing the 2019-2021 plan and this year will invite the community to a public meeting to contribute in areas important to community health. This will occur sometime in April and the hospital will announce the date soon. We encourage you to participate and share your thoughts. If you would like to review recent strategic plans, you can find them here.
SVH Revenue Cycle
Cynthia Denton, SVH Director of Admitting & Patient Financial Services, made a presentation to the board reporting on the hospital’s revenue cycle. Her presentation illustrates how complex the process is, beginning with the physician’s request for services, tracking and coding patient charges from each hospital revenue center, and ending with a claim paid either by insurance and/or the patient.
She noted that Medicare and Medi-Cal now represent 74 percent of hospital volume, 57 percent of which is Medicare. Commercial insurance represents 22 percent, Worker’s Compensation is around two percent and self-pay just over one percent.
Cynthia pointed out a new feature of the system that allows the hospital to identify, in advance of treatment, what the patient’s share of the costs will be. Our patients have been very appreciative of the upfront information that allows them to better understand and prepare for the cost of procedures.
Our next Sonoma Valley District Board meeting will be held on Thursday, April 5 at 6 pm in the Community Meeting Room, 177 1st St. West in Sonoma. The public is welcome to attend, and public comment is always encouraged.
Chair of the SVHCD Board of Directors