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Hospital Board reports improvements, net income of $192,331 for January

Finances continue to improve for the fifth month in a row, according to Memorial Hospital Authority Treasurer Charles Tyson, who reported the net income for January was $192,331.  He indicated it was somewhat due to receipt of $500,000 from county ad valorem taxes. There was also a $414,029 dent made in the Accounts Payable during January. Interim CFO Gregg Majors commented that collections have improved incrementally. “We are now collecting what we expect to receive,” adding now there are a lot more services not covered by insurance.

Expenses for Employee benefits has been very positive this year, possibly due to consolidation of health insurance plans with the city and county. Administrative costs were saved by the process.

New medical staff by-laws and medical staff rules and regulations were approved as presented by Dr. Aric Aldridge, who chaired a committee to study and prepare the policies. It included care issue documentation and social media policy. A recommendation from Dr. Burke, resulted in consolidation and restructuring of hospital departments into three major departments: Medical and Critical Care, Women and Children Care, and Surgery services. It also contained language that all hospital employees, including physicians, be included in random drug testing.

CEO Walker reported:

• Work is proceeding on the Health Care Georgia grant initiative that has a March 31 deadline.

• Several new bills have been introduced to the Legislature, including a continuing of the hospital bed tax to the state; new certificate of need processes, which Walker said must be opposed, as it would allow a care facility to come in and “cherry pick” the self-pay patients; possibility of increasing the state tax credit allowed to 90 percent. A bill that would promote building two casinos in Georgia with 15 percent of proceeds going to rural hospital and trauma care. A bill that would levy state tax refunds from patients who fail to pay their hospital bill.

  A new revenue cycle director will be report in March.

  The Georgia Tax Credit has only generated about $50,000 in donations statewide. Speculation is that people are waiting to see the 90 percent credit approved, rather than the existing 70 percent.

Authority Chair Glennie Bench stated it is required that the hospital have a letter of credit in the amount of $250,000 set aside for malpractice coverage. There is currently approximately $750,000 set up in malpractice reserves in two CD’s and the bank where those are held is willing to give a letter of credit at a cost of $250 per year to meet the requirements of the malpractice insurer. They will keep the CD we already have there. Authority approved the issue.

Bench named a nominating committee for officers in 2017, with Charles Tyson acting as chair, including Donald Barber and Dr. Charles Walker.

Approval was also given for a purchase recommended by Building and Grounds Committee to replace the water softeners at a cost not to exceed $30,000. New softeners are expected to reduce the annual cost of salt by approximately $7,800.