In Sept. 24 Issue
Russell County Hospital reported a $113,288 profit on operations and a positive net income of $138,297 for the month of August.
With that the two-month, fiscal year, total is a positive $184,328.
Interim CEO George Walz told the hospital board that the in-patient beds had been more heavily occupied than expected, and length of stay limits were exceeded for the month.
He also said that the hospital now has $266,000 set aside to address any issues that could arise with federal health program charge-backs.
"We're over budget for revenue for the month and for the year," Walz said.
The board requested copies of a proposed new contract with the hospital's management company, Alliant.
The new contract was to be addressed at that meeting, but was put of until next month.
There were also questions from the board regarding the institution of the "PAKs" system. The system is an electronic archival and sharing program for radiological images that doctors were supposed to be able to access from their offices or homes.
"We were told it would be up and running by July of 2008," said Board Member Chris McQueary. "We spent $450,000 on that."
He said the board was unaware until recently that the program was not working,
Walz first said there were issues regarding the privacy and security of the data. He later said there had been some issues between the two computer software company employees. He also said there were issues related to the workload on the hospital's IT department.
It was suggested that a contractor or more staff be brought in if necessary to make that department work, and that the board be updated monthly on the progress.
"I hear what you're saying to me," Walz said.
The board was also told that one CEO candidate was ready for interviews, but they were searching for at least two other candidates because the other two that were in the application process had been hired by other hospitals.
Walz also said there had been an issue with the contractor chosen to install the air conditioning unit in the emergency room, and the contractor had been replaced with the next lowest bidder, Knight Mechanical.
He also told the board that issues related to getting the test results to the neurologist responsible for reading them has delayed installation of an electro-encephalogram which the board had approved purchase of last month.
The board voted to okay the "compensating rate" of 6.6 per $100 of valuation for a 2009 tax rate.
"The good people of Russell County won't have to pay more taxes," Board President Jeff Hubbard said.
CFO Ken Kimsal said the rate the previous year had been 6.5 and the new rate would bring about $14,000 more in tax revenue to the facility due mostly to increases in property values. The increase was a 2.5 percent increase.
Earlier in the meeting Walz told the board they were looking into some of the money available through the American Reinvestment and Recover Act for expansion of the hospital.
Walz told the board that the requirements that came with the money were onerous. He said they would have to pay prevailing wage for the hospital expansion work, and would have to purchase only American made components whenever they were available.
He added that Kimsal was still looking into the program, "But I don't think it will be practical for us."
Walz also said they have not yet begun the feasibility study needed to secure federal funding for any expansion project.