TMH frustrated with slow numbers |

TMH frustrated with slow numbers

Some hospital officials are worried that construction of a new hospital will be delayed because analysts have been slow to provide financial numbers that will determine the size of the building.

Officials from The Memorial Hospital have received numbers as part of a financial forecast that should determine the size and scope of a new hospital. However, the early 2005 budgetary numbers that officials first used may not be a true reflection of the hospital’s long-term ability to repay the costs of building a new hospital.

“We believe that we’re performing significantly better than budget,” TMH administrator Randy Phelps said.

According to the first forecast, or pro forma, hospital officials learned they would have to come up with $1 million a year to afford a $19 million facility — a price tag officials first put on building a new hospital.

Unanticipated bad debt, or funds for services that a hospital cannot collect, are more than anticipated budgeted amounts this year. Wages for staffing also are more than budgeted.

But some board members complained that holdups in getting the financial numbers back would stall the building process. Board members and officials want to apply for a loan by the end of July. A kickoff for fund raising on the new facility starts July 8.

“I think we feel like we’re kind of the guinea pigs for this project,” board member Sue Lyster said. “I feel like we’re not making progress.”

“We’ve got a lot of things backed up on this decision,” board member Ron Danner said about getting the hospital’s financial numbers.

Phelps said that the hospital’s architect is on standby, waiting to design the building as soon as officials know to what size and scope they can build a new facility. It may be a couple of weeks until board members get the revised numbers back, Phelps said.

In other business, board members:

Decided to implement a Medical Staff Development Plan.

Approved the decision to enter into contract negotiations with EmCare to supervise emergency room physician services.

Approved the purchase of software and mobile computer stations.

Tabled approval of an audit. The report was not ready for review at Wednesday’s meeting.

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