In Oct. 28 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Editor
It was a good night for Russell County Hospital's Board of Directors at last Thursday's regular meeting as they heard and accepted a positive auditor's report from Dean Dorton Ford PSC out of Lexington.
Auditor David Richard told the board that the hospital had a "great year" and that a "successful audit is a good thing."
"It feels like you all are settling into a comfort zone of where you all are supposed to be," Richard said. "You're a community hospital … you've had two nice years in a row and it looks like you've got some solid footing on where you're going, so I'm happy for you."
He said the hospital's $4.6 million in the bank is a testament to how well it is now doing. In the report, the hospital's net assets increased in each of the past two years with a $1,566,415, or 23 percent, increase in 2010 and a $1,475,903, or 28 percent, increase in 2009. The hospital reported an operating income of $942,076 for 2010 and $970,052 for 2009, a decrease of 3 percent.
Richard told the board the hospital had a $1.5 million improvement in the book value net assets of the hospital and grew the revenue by $1.3 million.
"A nice magic trick, your bad debts went down," Richard said. "Congratulations on that."
He said the hospital operations created $2.2 million in cash and that a lot of the money was used to pay down debt and purchase new capital assets. "Which is what a hospital should do," he said.
Richard cautioned the board to be prepared for change if there is some sort of healthcare reform in the future.
"Be as nimble as you can be and as aggressive as you can stand," he cautioned. "Hoard as much capital as you can and just be aware of what is going on."
He also told the board they have six times the cash flow right now to pay next year's debt requirement.
Richard said his firm also completed an audit this summer over the retirement plan of Russell County Hospital and "went fine."
Board Chairman Jeff Hubbard said the audit confirms the board's belief that the hospital has a good financial team and management in place.
In other happenings at the meeting:
• The Russell County Hospital Auxiliary donated $8,100 to the hospital for various departmental purchases last week.
• CFO Ken Kimsal said the expansion efforts at the hospital are continuing to move forward with word from the architects that everything is on schedule. He said the hospital was waiting for the final feasibility study to be completed before filing a funding application with the USDA.
Kimsal said he hopes ground will break on the expansion in April.
o Kimsal said the total patient revenue of $4.9 million was right about at budget. The net income for the month of September was just over $53,000 and just under $200,000 for the year to date with total net assets for the year at $8.5 million.
"After the first quarter, essentially, bottom line we're still on budget," Kimsal said.
• Interim CEO Bernie Zucker told the board that, in terms of accreditation, the radiology department is on a role earning accreditation with both the American College of Radiology for three years and the FDA.
She also said an orthopedist surgeon could soon be coming to RCH one day a week once all the final details are ironed out.
• Zucker also mentioned that more than 700 people attended the hospital's health fair on Oct. 16 with more than 1,500 people having their blood drawn for the event.
• Zucker said the Office of the Inspector General had looked over the hospital last week and reported the hospital had no healthcare deficiencies.
• The board approved purchase of a $6,700 transport ventilator for the hospital and a $2,250 microscope for the medical arts lab.
• The board commended Dr. Jerry Westerfield on his work in getting the new digital mammography system up and running at the hospital.
• Alliant Vice President Jeff Buckley said the search for a new hospital CEO has been narrowed to three individuals. The board will set up a time to review the candidates' resumes and interview them in the coming weeks.
• The board approved an evaluation of CFO Ken Kimsal at the meeting.
"We appreciate you hard work and dedication to Russell County Hospital," Hubbard told Kimsal. Kimsal said he loved working at the hospital and that he had good co-workers who helped make his job easy.