Hospital Authority hears good audit report at Tuesday meeting

Published 7:19 pm Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Bert Bennett, of Draffin & Tucker Certified Public Accountants, delivered a much better fiscal year-end report to Memorial Hospital and Manor Authority members on Tuesday than he did one year ago.

Commenting, “Things are a lot different this year…. There is not a growing concern statement this year.” He went on to speak on the huge strides he has seen in addressing the concerns of last year. “It can be seen most in your collections. Getting paid is the next hardest thing to providing good care,” he commented. He noted that hospital revenue now exceeds expenses, calling it “tremendous improvement,” as he showed a graph that reflected the collection problems from 2015 and 16. “The largest impact you’ve had is that your bad debt came down.” Along with the report, he commented on total expenses showing a desired trend downward, and the days of cash on hand being up.

He did comment that there are many hurdles facing healthcare right now, and it is unknown what the paying market will look like in the future; but he is hopeful that one year from now the hospital will see even more stability than it has in past years.

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The financial report for the month of July showed a $96,708 net loss, compared to July 2016 net loss of $983,095. Interim CEO/CFO Gregg Majors indicated that although gross patient revenue was up by $1,526,411 over last year, this is still historically a down time of year. He predicted that it will pick up in fall and winter and that some new interactions and entrepreneurial methods will generate more income. He also commented that Emergency Room visits were down recently, which he attributed to the hospital getting more competition from urgent care centers.

Also discussed was the need for more physicians to better serve the public. Majors promised that physician recruitment will be a big agenda item at next month’s board meeting.

Majors also gave an update on the search for a new CEO and CFO. He believes the first week of September will see the first round of candidates, then it will be narrowed down in October, with the choice possibly being finalized by Thanksgiving.

Board Chair, Glennie Bench, outlined the search procedure for board members once a list of finalists is secured. 

At that time the finalists names would become public and each would come stay a day in the community, meeting first with the medical staff, then with administration, then meeting board members at a luncheon, and adding some members of the community for a dinner meeting.

Other activity of the board was the approval of expenditure of capital expense requests for August, 2017, given by Support Services Director Lee Harris. Included were two new electric ranges for the cafeteria and a new gas range for Willow Ridge, which is still using the original stove; a procedure chair and eight desktop computers, all for $38.021. The board also approved the emergency purchase of two pieces of medical vacuum equipment and a rebuild of manor fire partitions as mandated by the State Fire Marshal Office.

The citation requires sheet rock mud must be properly removed and replaced with an approved fire-rated caulk in all of the areas cited. Harris commented that there were no cracks or penetrations in the existing partition walls that would allow for the passage of smoke. The issue is simply that the old standard of using sheet rock mud in these walls is no longer accepted. Total costs for the emergency purchases is $53,539.

Funding for these purchases is believed to be allowed expenditures from the bond reserves.

Also approved was the payment of $25,000 for a matching grant fund to the Rural Hospital Stabilization Committee, in return for a $250,000 grant to conduct programs to improve medical care and community services by the hospital. Dr. Dean Burke pointed out this is a three-year grant.