In Sept. 23 Issue
Interim Russell County Hospital CEO Bernadette Zucker said the hospital's planned expansion project was on schedule at last week's meeting of the local hospital board.
"We're supposed to be at the point where we had 50 percent of the construction documents done and ready at this time and we are at that point," she said. "At this juncture, we believe we will stay on schedule."
She said architects with the Estopinal Group told her they could break ground in late March if all the financial documentation fleshes out.
After some confusion over dates following last month's meeting, Hospital Chief Financial Officer Ken Kimsal said his office would be finalizing the USDA funding application for an October 8th send-off to Washington.
The multi-million dollar project is slated to include a new emergency room, surgical and imaging suites as well as remodeling much of the space in the existing hospital, officials have said.
"Everything is ready to go once we get the feasibility report back," Kimsal said.
In other happenings at the meeting:
• Kimsal said for the month of August the hospital is about 4 percent behind budget in the revenue with the inpatient budget being 29 percent behind and the outpatient budget 5 percent ahead for the month.
"As far as expenses, salaries were about one percent under budget and that's mostly reflective of the unfilled positions," he said. "Mostly all the expenses were under budget for the month."
He said the hospital ended up with an operating income of around $23,000, a little bit below the budgeted $45,000.
"On the year to date basis it comes to about 60,000 versus the budget of $87,000," Kimsal said. "We were a little ahead in July and a little behind in August. As far as our bottom line, we're $89,000 versus $72,000 and year to date we're at $147,000 versus a budget of $139,000 so we're still in a positive mode."
• There was about a $350,000 increase in the final cost for new software, hardware and associated infrastructure since last month, Kimsal said.
The reason for the increase comes from the added need for patient data space on the new machines as nearly everything is switching over to computer now.
This brings the total cost for updating the hospital's electronic health records system to just over $2 million.
The hospital is getting the new equipment through Dell Perot Hardware but has asked for quotes from IBM.
Kimsal said last month that the penalty for non-compliance with the program would be more in two years that the $200,000 the hospital would have to pay to upgrade to the new system.
The actual switchover to the new equipment won't be fully implemented until next fall, he said. Employee training for the equipment will take place in the next year.
• The board voted to switch, beginning Nov. 1, the hospital employees' health insurance coverage from Bluegrass Family Health to Anthem.
• Kimsal said the hospital's auditors were at the hospital last week and they are expected to make their annual presentation at October's meeting.
• Jeff Buckley, from the hospital's management firm Alliant, said the search for a new CEO has intensified as resumes are now processed with screening underway in Louisville on the applicants.
He said he would like to get several on-site interviews done in the next month.