Hospital Board looking toward Fiscal Year 2018 beginning April 1

Published 4:52 pm Friday, March 24, 2017

Although the February financial key indicators presented at the March 21 Memorial Hospital Authority meeting showed a loss of $258,708 for February, Authority Treasurer Charles Tyson said, “We are making progress.”  He compared the current year-to-date loss of $6,594 to last year-to-date loss of $2,544,418.

A fiscal Year 2018 budget of $41,000,000, was approved, as was the Capital Equipment budget for FY 2018. It included a list of proposed capital equipment items amounting to $3,269,000. Those items will be paid for by the revenue bonds. CEO Billy Walker expressed his appreciation to the city and county, saying he had received an email as of March 21 indicating the transfers have taken place and the capital improvement account has been funded. “It will help the hospital tremendously,” he added.

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Chairperson Glennie Bench presented proposed changes in the Hospital Authority By-Laws developed by a committee of Marvalyn Carroll, Rusty Davis, and Bench, along with attorney Tom Conger. She estimated the last time the by-laws were amended was in 1992.

One of the changes concerned Section 5. Appointment Process.

The Decatur County Commissioners have the responsibility of appointing five (5) members and the Bainbridge City Council shall appoint two (2) members to the Hospital Authority.  The language of the proposed change is as follows: “No physician shall be appointed to the Hospital Authority if that physician has any financial relationship with Memorial Hospital and Manor. Financial relationships which prevent Authority appointment shall include, but not be limited to, being employed by Memorial Hospital and Manor or practicing medicine on Memorial Hospital and Manor property.”

A lengthy discussion followed, as Dr. Charles Walker, a current board member,  indicated this would create “a   distrust in the medical staff,” and Bench explained how the current policy creates a possible conflict of interest. Several recommendations for changes were made and Bench said she would take the matter back to the committee for further work before bringing it back to the April board meeting.

A nominating committee proposed slate of officers for FY 18: Glennie Bench,  chairman; Marvalyn Carroll, secretary and Rusty Davis, treasurer was approved. When it was noted that the position of vice-chair had been omitted, Bench said that would be addressed at the April meeting.

The Authority approved the continuing appointment of Draffin & Tucker, CPA Firm; attorneys, Alston & Byrd for labor issues, Tom Conger, local matters, and Lee Durham, malpractice.

CEO Walker gave his update on pending legislations and indicated the American Health Care Act being proposed by the Trump administration to replace the ACA,

or Obama Care, as it is commonly referred, is not being supported by the Georgia Hospital Association or American Hospitals Association as it would mean massive reductions in payments to hospitals and medical providers.

Memorial Hospital and Manor is currently working on a grant application to the Georgia Healthcare Foundation that is due March 31. It requires collaboration with different community services and organizations with the goal of improving healthcare in the community. Prior meetings have worked to develop it. The final collaborative meeting will be held at the Hospital on Tuesday, March 28 at 2 p.m. to complete the application.