Good Samaritan Highlights 2020 Achievements and Presents Plans for 2021

Good Samaritan held its last Board of Governors meeting for 2020 on Tuesday evening. Senior leadership presented information about the hospital’s successes over the past year, the outlook and budget for 2021, and the future of the organization after COVID.

As the board and hospital leaders looked back on 2020, the vast majority of success was focused on Good Samaritan’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the community. “This year, the organization’s Mission has been the backbone behind the work all of our employees have done this year,” said Rob McLin, President and CEO. “The focus on excellent health care and the building of trusting relationships working together through this pandemic has kept us on the forefront of this difficult time and has led us to finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.”

A large accomplishment in 2020 was the level of teamwork and effort each employee made throughout this past year. Whether it was the creation of additional negative pressure rooms, access to personal protective equipment or working extra hours, Good Samaritan stepped up to ensure patients were the number one priority.

“The COVID vaccine is currently being administered in frontline health care workers in Knox, Daviess and Pike counties at Good Samaritan,” said Adam Thacker, Chief Operating Officer. “We will continue to provide a COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic to the community for the foreseeable future, but want to encourage everyone to continue to wear their masks and maintain social distance to keep each other safe.”

The hospital’s residency programs continued to grow in 2020. The Internal Medicine program welcomed 13 full-time residents to Good Samaritan this past July, along with four additional Psychiatry residents. Recruitment for both residencies has already begun for the 2021 year, in which Good Samaritan will add 12 internal medicine residents and six psychiatry residents.

“We are excited that by the time our 2021 residents start, we will have a brand new education center for them to utilize,” stated McLin. “The Charles C. Hedde, MD Health Education Center is expected to be completed and ready for use by summer of 2021.”

The opening of the Center for Therapy and Sports Performance outpatient clinic was also a major milestone in 2020 that continues to grow. An additional Convenient Care Clinic also opened inside Williams Bros. Pharmacy. Plans to increase the number of outreach clinics will be part of next year’s strategic plan.

A huge part of delivering health care this past year was through virtual visits. At the beginning of 2020, the hospital had a goal to have 100 virtual visit appointments within the year. Because of COVID-19; however, Good Samaritan had 5,000 virtual visits. In addition to this number, the Samaritan Center also went virtual and saw another 5,000 patients seeking behavioral health services.

Growth opportunities continued for Good Samaritan in 2020 with the addition of many physicians and providers. There were 16 new employed physicians and 16 credentialed allied health professionals who came on board this year. “Provider recruitment is a competitive environment,” said Thacker. “We are excited to see the growth of our provider team and already have plans in motion to welcome new physicians in 2021.”

After reviewing the hospital’s accomplishments for 2020, administration then presented their outlook and goals for the future. Some key initiatives Good Samaritan will focus on in 2021 include: continue focusing on improving patient safety and quality, as well as the patient experience; increase employee and provider engagement; increase community outreach and health initiatives; and control costs.

Leadership will continue to work heavily on employee engagement and patient experience in the next year. The organization recently had an employee engagement survey that showed Good Samaritan scored greater than the national average in 16 out of 25 questions that were asked among hospital employees.

A major focus in 2021 will be the growth of Good Samaritan’s behavioral health services within the Samaritan Center. “We have projects and renovations in store for some of the Samaritan Center offices and the LaSalle Inpatient Unit here in the hospital,” said Thomas Cook, Chief Financial Officer. “We are looking to develop some plans for a potential behavioral health geriatric unit and a neuromodulation clinic.” Due to a large grant the Samaritan Center received, plans are also in place to expand and provide new services to the area.

A new service that will be available to the community is a Mobile Integrated Care Unit. This mobile “office” will provide access to services for those living in remote, underserved communities who struggle to seek care due to financial and/or transportation issues. The mobile unit will be staffed at all times by a registered nurse, mobile unit coordinator, and a community resource specialist. A family nurse practitioner, psychiatric nurse practitioner and licensed social worker will alternate weekly on the mobile unit.

Another portion of the grant dollars will be used for the Samaritan Center’s new Clubhouse Program that will support reintegration in the community for those with mental illness and improve access to supportive services. The clubhouse will focus on helping our patients join society through education, employment and other forms of assistance. Another part of the Clubhouse will be the purchase of a ten-passenger van that will be used for transportation of clients to and from the clubhouse.

Good Samaritan hopes to control costs throughout the organization, while also increasing revenue in areas with expected volume increases. Next year’s budget is set to reflect a 2% operating margin for the year, based on increased outpatient volumes and reduced costs. The budget is developed to support the 2021 strategic plan that will focus on the growth of the residency programs, strategic growth with the Samaritan Center and community health center, retail clinics, and physician recruitment.

“Good Samaritan’s budget for 2021 is based on a continuation of the tremendous team effort to enhance our patient, visitor engagement/satisfaction and also to further raise the bar on the quality of care delivered,” said Thomas Cook, Chief Financial Officer. “Achievements in revenue cycle, productivity and cost management continue to be the foundation of the budget. We have an exceptional leadership team of directors, managers and supervisors that will allow us to meet our goals in the coming year.”

Another piece of the budget includes a 2% wage increase for employees. The result of the increase in wages is an additional total wage increase amount of $2,006,703 million added to the wage and salary expense. “We are tremendously pleased to be able to reward our employees for their hard work,” said McLin. “We are optimistic that 2021 will be a year of strong patient experience and high employee engagement. We will continue our focus on providing a great environment for our employees to serve our patients and to make a difference every day.”

In order to remain price competitive, Good Samaritan also announced an average rate increase for services at 2.49%. “In order to remain stable in this competitive health care market, we had to increase the costs of our services by a small percentage,” said Cook. “Even with this increase, our services are more affordable than surrounding hospitals of the same size.”

“The struggle to remain an independent health care organization is constantly increasing every year,” said McLin. “However, we as a senior leadership team are focused on growth and stability for the future. We are extremely fortunate to have a group of employees, providers and volunteers who are dedicated to providing safe and quality care to our patients. Good Samaritan is also blessed to be a part of a community that supports and encourages us to find new growth opportunities while creating partnerships to ensure we remain the number one health care provider in the area and to remain the regional center of excellence to support the communities we serve.”

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