Q&A with Dr. Roxane Townsend

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Q&A with Dr. Roxane Townsend

by John W. Mitchell, Senior Correspondent | January 15, 2015
From the January 2015 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine


HCBN: What are your biggest challenges at UAMS?

RT:
Arkansas has 210,000 newly insured patients. So we have to budget for the next year as if the legislature is going to make funding available at that level. We spend a lot of time educating the legislature about health care to help them make an informed decision.

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We have capacity issues right now. We opened a new patient tower in 2009 and it's 94 percent occupied - some days we've had to hold as many as 14 patients in the ER until a bed opened up.

We also have many transfers from other hospitals who decide a patient would be better off with us, so we work hard to accommodate those patients. Patients don't want to wait, but as a Level I Trauma Center, sometimes an elective surgery patient, for example, may have their case delayed until later in the day if we have an emergency.

HCBN: What else is going well at UAMS?

RT:
We knew the newly insured would be looking for doctors. So we have added 10 new primary care doctors and opened new offsite family clinics. We did see a gain in revenue of $10 million from the beginning of our fiscal year in July through September, but we also saw a corresponding increase in expenses related to these higher volumes. We had some increased expense related to electronic medical records, but that also helped us do a better job with charge capture. We are seeing a positive bottom line so far this year.

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