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Hospital Board working to clear up financial problems

At the Tuesday meeting of the Memorial Hospital and Manor Authority, the board voted:

• To replace the flooring in the Radiation area with vinyl plank flooring at a cost of $18,696.

• To replace the roof at Memorial Medical Center, described as coming apart at the seams and leaking every time it rains. Cost of that project is not to exceed $87,952.

• To rent a mobile CT Scanner at a cost of $40,000 for two weeks while the existing one is being replaced with a new model that was previously approved. It is expected to begin in January, and the hospital wishes to avoid interruption of services.

• A long discussion was had concerning replacement of the hardware server. The current one is 15 years old and inadequate to handle the necessary software services. The total cost is estimated to be $1,844,000, and the board asked the CEO and CFO to go forward with seeking exact quotes and bringing them back to the Authority before entering into a contract.

• Wayne Smith, interim revenue cycle director, indicated he has identified at least 14 problem areas that can improve service and finances, and knows the solutions, but said it was first necessary to solve the hardware problem.

Smith also submitted a proposal to implement a new Indigent Charity Care Policy.

The new policy will expand the old policy with a sliding scale based on family income and size. It creates three levels: indigent, charity (where patient pays a percentage based on family size and income) and bad debt. It was approved after it was explained it is a way for people to pay a reduced amount owed based on their qualifying for percentage of federal poverty guidelines.

• A wellness proposal granting employees reduced premiums if they participate in the wellness program was approved with Blue Cross.

• A patient satisfaction survey of outpatient surgery patients was approved at a cost of $4200 annually.

CEO Billy Walker reported that requests for proposals have gone out in an effort to combine health care coverage for employees of Bainbridge City, Decatur County and Memorial Hospital and Manor.

A Celebrity Quail Hunt will be held at SouthWind Plantation October 20-22, with all proceeds designated to go to the Hospital Foundation.

Samples of three new television ads promoting different services performed by Memorial Hospital were shown. Currently running on WCTV, they promote the care provided by Bainbridge Ophthalmology, getting a colonoscopy to check for colorectal cancer and receiving obstetrical care at Magnolia Women’s Center.