In July 24-30 issue By Greg Wells Times Journal Managing Editor
RUSSELL SPRINGS - The Russell County Hospital Board of Directors has brought in an outside consultant for an independent operational review of the hospital.
Chris McCreary, who headed the board in Jeff Hubbard’s absence, said the review will take about 30 days and should point out anything the administration can do to improve the way things are done.
He said the firm is part of the company which has been doing the hospital’s independent audits for the last three years.
Board member Mark Antle, said “Its like having a third set of eyes looking over everything.”
Both men added that they weren’t accusing the hospital’s administration of doing anything wrong, they were just interested in making sure the facility was being run as well as it possibly could.
McCreary added that the consultant would be reporting directly to the board. The proposal was approved unanimously.
The board also passed the proposal by Jim Walker to do a review of the hospital’s space needs and see what can be done to ease the crowding in the laboratory and radiology departments.
He came to the meeting at the behest of the hospital’s management firm, Alliant.
Walker, who said he has served as architect for other projects at facilities managed by Alliant, stated he was not there to do a “master plan” but rather to address the issues that are the most pressing at this time.
During the discussion the matter of financing came up and the board was told that the hospital’s bond debt stands at just over $988,000. CFO Ken Kimsal said that as of next June they can make early payments on that debt without any penalty.
Members of Alliant’s team suggested that they will be looking for other sources of money for expansion from federal and state grant and loan programs.
CEO Gary DelForge said that they are presently working with the certifying agency to address their concerns about space in the lab.
Kimsal was the bearer of good news in the financial report. He said the hospital finished the year with another positive month and ended with $341,880 in positive cash flow.
He said numbers could have been better, but the amount of services billed as charity cases doubled over last year and those charged off as bad debts also increased.
The balance sheet showed that the hospital also lost $207,804 in its “non-operating” departments while bringing in $713,987 in “non-operating income,” mostly from local taxes.
The figures indicate if the hospital had experienced another month like June the operations figures would have been positive as well.
For services rendered last fiscal year the hospital spent a total of $164,267 more than it brought in, but for their last month they brought in $161,194 more than they spent.
DelForge added that it is sometimes easy to forget that the hospital has been expanding, growing and improving since the board began operating the hospital three years ago.
Previously the board had passed the operations of the hospital to Ephraim McDowell, while retaining ownership of the building and grounds. The board later bought back the operations and hired a management firm to handle day-to-day operations.
DelForge pointed to the pay raises given the staff, the hundreds of thousands of dollars in new equipment added to the facility and the new programs began as positive steps for the hospital.
He also asked the board to consider a Compliance Program, which he described as something of an ethics manual and code of conduct for the administration of the hospital.
The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
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120 Wilson St.
Russell Springs KY 42642
Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
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