HCHD Receives Unmodified Audit Opinion

District Tax Rate Discussed

By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

HOUSTON COUNTY – The Houston County Hospital District (HCHD) Board of Directors has been working hard. trying to get its financial ducks in a row. On Tuesday, Aug. 17, it appeared the hard work paid off as the HCHD Received an “unmodified opinion” on its annual outside audit.

Kim Johnson, with the accounting firm of Todd, Hamaker and Johnson, was on hand to provide the board with the firm’s findings.

“As you know, we are doing the audit for the financial statements from Sept. 20, 2020. It was not – as in many years past – there was a lot of different activity that has gone on with the hospital district. This was a pretty calm year. Y’all may not have felt that way, but I did while I was doing the audit,” Johnson said.

She directed the board members’ attention to page three of the audit report and said, “There were a few years when we were giving a qualified opinion related to the fixed assets. We changed that last year and went to an unmodified opinion, a clean opinion. We are also giving a clean opinion this year. It is a good, clean opinion the district is receiving tonight.” 

At the end of Johnson’s presentation, a motion was made, seconded and unanimously approved to accept the audit as presented.

Following the audit presentation, Board President Barbara Crowson began a discussion on the HCHD tax rate.

Kim Johnson

“We will discuss, look at all options and make sure all board members understand what they are looking at. We will set a hearing date of Aug. 31 at 5:30 pm in this same location (Fellowship Hall of First Presbyterian Church in Crockett) for the public to come and express their thoughts and talk with us. At that meeting, we will likely take a vote on the tax rate,” Crowson said.

The district’s current tax rate is $0.143150per $100 of property valuation.

 “We need to decide whether we want to keep the effective tax rate – and not raise taxes. Our other option is to lower the tax rate to some extent. We are not considering raising the tax rate. Those are our options.,” she said.

It was suggested the tax rate be lowered to $0.13 per $100 of property valuation, while another suggestion was to lower the rate to $0.14. No decision was made on the rate during the Aug. 17 meeting.  

Prior to the audit presentation, the board president reported Crockett Medical Center CEO Tommy Johnson had informed her the hospital “… had the licensure accreditation survey visit and he is very pleased with the results of that. There is a second visit coming up fairly soon, within the next two weeks. They received good marks and he was very pleased with the report that was presented to him. This accreditation survey is done by DNV. He assured me this is very much the same as an accreditation visit by the Joint Commission.”

Crowson went on to say those conducting the survey were very impressed with the cleanliness of the hospital and raved about the housekeeping staff.

“He said they said we have not been in a hospital this clean in a very long time,” the HCHD Board President said.

As the meeting continued, Dina Pipes provided the board with the ambulance report. She indicated there were 303 requests for service during the month of July with 203 patient transports. There were 33 cancelled calls and 67 non-transports. Pipes added there were 25 requests for the helicopter with five patients flown.

There were also eight calls for mutual aid in ESD 1 with 78 percent of patients initially taken to CMC.  

In other matters brought before the HCHD Board of Directors:

  • Minutes from the July 20 meeting were approved.
  • The District Financial Report for July was approved.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected].   

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