Cuero Regional Hospital – 2021 - A Year in Review and A Look Ahead
Contact: Lynn Falcone, CEO
Cuero, Texas: Cuero Regional Hospital (CRH) completed its fiscal year, September 30, 2021.
As a community hospital and tax district, we wanted to share our successes, challenges and plans for the new fiscal year. Of course COVID continued to be the major challenge for our facility; however, we remained strong in caring for our community. The staff of Cuero Regional Hospital is ever grateful for all of the community support.
Fiscal Year highlights
- Was named a Chartis Top 100 Rural and Community Hospital
- Cuero Regional Hospital was awarded “Business of the Year” at the Cuero Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Membership Banquet on Thursday, March 25, 2021.
- Successfully recertified as a Basic Trauma Level IV Emergency Center for 2021.
- Cuero Regional Hospital received the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association in 2021 and continued stroke diagnosis and treatment program to provide timely care to stroke patients.
- Featured in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals 2021 and 2022 guidebook
- Grew patient satisfaction, rating of the hospital to the 84th percentile and the overall rating of care to the 79th percentile in the State of Texas (Press Ganey Database)
- Maintained ownership of 16 nursing homes as part of the QIPP program run by the state of Texas. This program is designed to make up Medicaid reimbursement shortages and brings about $6.5 million to CRH
- Our Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation program is up and running since June, serving 27 in cardiac rehabilitation and 8 in pulmonary rehab for a total of 35
- CRH started new MedSpa Services with the help of Dr. Dale Denton, Medical Director; IdealProtein Weight Loss under the guidance of Sheryl Harvey, MD; added Behavioral Health Counseling via Telemedicine; added and have expanded endocrinology services via Telemedicine; and began work to have certified wound care specialist onsite
- Cuero Regional Hospital partnered with a new inpatient dialysis provider to expand on offerings and turnaround time for patients, thus expanding local offerings to help patients recover closer to home
- Increased care capability in the ICU by adding Telepulmonary specialists to support of Hospitalists and physicians
- Maintained staff hours and pay even during low volumes
- Paid staff two COVID bonuses during the year; and a third bonus if they got vaccinated
- Staff were not required to use their own PTO/vacation days with a COVID diagnosis; they were given extra days
- Partnered with local officials and CISD to provide vaccine clinics to the public; vaccines are now available at the hospital and can be obtained by calling central scheduling
- Obtained multiple pieces of equipment to support the care and treatment of COVID patients
- Worked with local Regional Advisory Council and the South Texas Regional Advisory Council to provide staffing for both nursing and respiratory therapy
- Utilized telephonic visits and drive through lab testing during the peak surges so that patients could be cared for, yet reduce their opportunity for exposure
- Received $247K in grant funding from HRSA in July 2021 to promote vaccine confidence in each of the rural health clinics of Cuero Health as part of their Rural Health Clinic Vaccine Confidence Program
- The vaccine mandate took a toll on the organization; with leadership doing their best to implement the initial vaccine requirement which was later overturned. Leadership is very appreciative Cuero Health healthcare team for their unwavering commitment to our mission and dedication to caring for others
- FY21 CRH exceeded budgeted earnings by 34% despite COVID challenges and without Government COVID money
- While our patients were much sicker, hospital admissions were down 20% from prior fiscal year
- ER visits remained strong and increased .24%; Outpatient visits were up by nearly 10% over the prior year
- Experiencing huge inflation in medical supply costs coupled with intermittent supply availability
- Over 300 days cash on hand to support IT upgrades and other capital equipment
- Benefits of the Methodist relationship continue to be supply savings; education opportunities for staff and physicians and policy support
Service and Community Support:
- Sponsored free, public health education events to the community, topics included: Stop the Bleed, Breathe Right Asthma Class, Childbirth Classes, Diabetic and asthma education offered throughout the year in partnership with Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Office.
- Presented several health events, including the New Year. Fresh Start. Community Walk thru Christmas in the Park in January 2021, TurkeyTrot in Oct. 2021, and Pinknic (first year for the event with an amazing turnout and raised $4K for our mammogram fund). Cuero Regional Hospital also hosted a Hurricane & Flood Preparedness Day in June 2021 to educate the communities we serve on preparing in advance of the storm
- Provided 236 drive thru clinic flu shots clinics in Cuero and Yorktown
- Cuero Health staff donated 1,539 hours of volunteer time to DeWitt County despite COVID
- Cuero Regional Hospital received a grant in the amount of $5,000 from ConocoPhillips to go towards the purchase of patient communication boards for all 37 patient rooms at Cuero Regional Hospital
- Cuero Regional Hospital’s EMS is received a grant award of $100,000 from the M.G. and Lillie A. Johnson Foundation to purchase an ambulance.
- DeWitt Medical Foundation received a $20K Power Up Grant from GVEC Electric to renovate and transition the existing Disaster Trailer into a Regional Mobile Health Trailer operated by Cuero Regional Hospital.
- Cuero Regional Hospital, in partnership with Texas A&M University College of Nursing through grant funding awarded by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), offered a free Well Woman Cancer Screening Clinic on two days in July 2021 by appointment only for underinsured or uninsured patients. This particular screening included screening for breast and cervical cancer. The event was greatly appreciated and returns to CRH in late January.
- Cuero Health employees continued to support local CAMAL House food pantry in 2021. First with a community fan drive organized by one of Cuero Regional Hospital’s leaders in which over 75 fans were donated to CAMAL House and then a blanket drive in November and December of 2021.
- In June Gulf Coast Rehabilitation, P.C. and its outpatient division, Excel Sports Therapy, celebrated 30 years of partnership with Cuero Regional Hospital. Gulf Coast Rehabilitation, P.C. provides outpatient based therapy at Cuero Regional Hospital, serving the patient’s individual needs and helping each patient to reach his/her personal goals.
- Hospital department leaders attended various leadership training opportunities with Methodist, including charge nurse courses, quarterly leadership training, Information Technology, and Human Resources
Major initiatives for Fiscal Year 2022 (other than a continuing emphasis on quality care and patient experiences in every service)
- Continued facility master planning to assure the hospital is poised for the future; will continue to look at ways to make outpatients services more customer friendly and easier to use
- Upgrade our electronic medical record
- Enhance women’s services to continue to support pregnant women and their growing families with plans to launch new campaigns to support both OB and total women’s care services at CRH.
- Continued focus on staff retention; staff and leader education and growth within the organization
- Enhance partnership with Texas A&M on programs to support women’s cancer detection and addiction therapy, including free well-woman cancer screenings in late January 2022.
- Continuing healthy community events like New Year. Fresh Start. Community walk on Jan. 2, 2022, Heart Walk February 19, 2022 and will bring back the popular Pinknic in October 2022.
- Continued community educational offerings and exploring new educational events - follow our Facebook page and website for updates!
Once again, I’d like to thank the Community for their support of our staff during the pandemic! The delivery of goodies and parades has been great support to the staff who are working so hard.