Hospital plaza opening delayed

Published 5:42pm Friday, March 22, 2013

Heavy rains, which flooded many portions of Bainbridge the last weekend of February, have caused a delay of the scheduled opening of the new Amelia Avenue Medical Plaza by approximately a month, according to information given at the March meeting of Memorial Hospital and Manor.

It was explained that the detention pond being constructed at the site filled with water before all site work was completed. The city of Bainbridge had to use a portable pump to remove the water before repairs could be made and the holding pond completed. The new projected time of office opening is the latter part of April.

Hospital CEO Billy Walker announced there will be proposed extended hours of service at the new primary care center.

Details are being worked out, but initial plans call for Mondays through Fridays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The extra hours are meant to better accommodate patients and reduce the number of people who go to the emergency room because there are no physician offices open.

Following an executive session, the board returned to open session and voted to extend Walker’s contract by 30 days, from March 31 to April 30. This gives the board time to negotiate a new contract.

February was a disappointing month, financially, for the hospital, as it reported a net income loss of $106,517 for the month, prompting Finance Committee Chair Glennie Bench to say, “This is the largest monthly loss we have had in two years. That’s not good.”

The patient census and revenue were both down. However, Bench added they are still ahead of the previous year-to-date figures by $200,986.

A 2014 fiscal year projects a budget of $96,142,737 in gross patient revenue. This includes a 5 percent increase on inpatient/outpatient charges. There is also a $50 month increase on charges at Willow Ridge. The budget includes allowance for an annual 3-percent merit salary increase for employees. When incentive funds are received for implementing and meeting the meaningful use objectives, plans are to use up to $1.5 million to make salary adjustments in line with Georgia Hospital Association averages for hospitals of similar size.

Other board approvals:

• Re-appointment of attorneys to represent the hospital: Langley & Lee, LLC, Alston & Bird, Tom Conger and George Floyd, and the existing CPA Firm, Draffin & Tucker, CPA.

• Community Health Needs Assessment implementation plan, required by the IRS as part of the patient protection and affordable care act. (Additional information on this topic will appear in other article.)

CEO update

• New bids are being taken on a wide range of health and dental insurance policy proposals. Analysis is underway, but no data available yet. Current contracts are being extended to the end of the calendar year.

• Plans are under way for the second annual Derby Night, scheduled for April 19, from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at the Bainbridge State College Kirbo Center.

• The Manor recently had a follow-up survey done by the state.
“All issues have been corrected and they are in full compliance,” Walker said.

• A new nurse anesthetist, Katie Newberry, is now working in surgery.

• All offices, except for that of Dr. Obidiu Popa, are now “live” on electronic records management.

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