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Hospital board talks budget

Amy Hamilton

Hospital officials plan to review a bid to update an air system at Wednesday’s regular board meeting.

The Memorial Hospital officials were alerted that the air used to supply oxygen to patients might not be meeting safety codes, board member Ron Danner said.

“From a safety perspective, we can’t be messing around with it,” he said.



Total cost for an emergency oxygen box, a master alarm panel and other related necessities from Medical Air Systems Inc. are priced at $6,413, including a discount.

In other business, TMH board members likely will discuss financial projections and ways the hospital can generate more money to build a new facility. The hospital’s operational budget is about $300,000 in the red this year. That doesn’t look attractive to potential lenders as the hospital needs to soon seek a loan for the new hospital.



Because the hospital is a nonprofit endeavor, its revenue fluctuates on a monthly basis.

Costs associated with charity care, Medicare and unpaid bills are absorbed by the hospital. Hospital officials also have to figure in the net loss of homes initially bought by the hospital for expansion and a decrease in county contributions.

“We have to take that next step to see what we can do to make that bottom line improve,” Danner said.

Some proposed ideas to help the hospital bridge the financial gap include offering an exercise program and providing walk-in testings for some ailments. Other suggestions include offering medical service to veterans, starting a Shiner’s clinic and opening an onsite coffee shop.

Hospital officials also expect to get feedback from interim administrator Susan McGough. McGough wrote in the monthly report that she is focusing on changes in emergency room coverage and changes in the radiology department. McGough said a candidate for the hospital’s long-standing general surgeon position is slated to visit in the next couple of weeks.

McGough is scheduled to stay with the hospital until replaced by a permanent administrator provided by the hospital’s management company, Quorum Health Resources.

Danner said all parts of the community would be invited to contribute on what attributes they would like to see in a new administrator in the next month. Those characteristics will be forwarded to Quorum to select from a pool of potential candidates. Hospital officials expect to hire a new director for the hospital about 90 days after that time.

“It really tells us from all the stakeholders what their opinions are,” Danner said.

Amy Hamilton can be reached at 824-7031 or ahamilton@craigdailypress.com


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