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Hospital District Adopts 2020-2021 Budget

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By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

HOUSTON COUNTY – The Houston County Hospital District met in a regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 15, highlighted by the approval of the 2019-2020 budget and the adoption of the 2020-2021 budget.

HCHD accountant led off the budget discussion and said, “The amended 2019-2020 budget – you need to look at your 11-month financials and you need to adjust your budget to what has transpired in the year. There were a lot of transactions we did not anticipate. So we basically look at the financials for August and make these recommended budget amendments to equal the transactions that have taken place over the 11-month period.”

A motion was made and seconded to approve the amended budget for 2019-2020. With no further discussion, the amended budget was approved. Following the amended budget discussion, the board also unanimously adopted the 2020-2021 budget.

Prior to the budget discussion, Dick Murchison reported the district’s Director’s and Officer’s (D&O) insurance paperwork had been filled out and forwarded to the underwriters.

“I did not get a quote, but I do not anticipate a great increase on the premium. I did remind them the coverage would be bumped up after about two months,” Murchison said.

Following the D&O discussion, a lengthy discussion was held on the adoption of a Fixed Asset Management Policy and the adoption of a Disposition of Surplus and Salvage Property. The board had previously been informed by the outside auditors that these policies were need in order to receive an unmodified audit opinion, the highest audit rating given. No action was taken on the matter.

Once the policy discussions concluded Crockett Medical Center (CMC) Administrator Tommy Johnson provided the HCHD Board with an update on hospital operations.

“This month in the ER, we had 664 visits so the numbers are picking back up. We are seeing that volume coming back. I think some of that is because fall is coming. We are seeing a lot of allergy and cold-type of stuff. We had eight inpatient days. The rural health clinic is back up to 202 visits but we are still about 100 short of what it was (before the COVID-19 pandemic). The specialty clinic had 212 visits. Of those, about 60 of those were Tele-Health visits. Outpatient saw 393 visits and of those about 26 were surgical or gastroenterology,” he said.

Johnson also reported the mammography unit had recently received its certification and business was picking up.

Before he concluded his report, Johnson said he was “… working on a golf tournament that benefit the (hospital) auxiliary. COVID-19 has taken its toll on them. They haven’t been able to run the gift shop and I’m sure their scholarship money is down. We are going to try a golf tournament out at the (Spring Creek) country club to try and raise money for their scholarship fund. We are hoping for Oct. 24 to be the date.”

Cassandra Galloway was next up and she provided the district with the monthly ambulance report. She reported there had been 322 calls for service with 189 patient transports. There were also 26 requests for the helicopter but only three flights. Galloway added 71 percent of the transported patients were brought to CMC.    

In other matters brought before the HCHD Board of Directors:

  • The minutes from meetings held on Aug. 18 and Sept. 8 were approved.
  • The HCHD’s financial report for August was approved. 
  • The board approved the payment of $2,093.41for additional material cost to the city of Crockett for repairs to the ambulance driveway.
  • The HCHD board also commended attorney Robert Spurck for being named as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” in Health Care Law.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.   

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