Hopkins County Memorial Hospital Administrator Michael McAndrew says a neurologist is one of the hardest positions for any hospital to fill. Memorial Hospital has been without a neurologist since their last one left in late 2011. McAndrew is cautiously optimistic that he may have found one. There was some discussion about the matter during the hospital board meeting Monday night. Hospital Chief Medical Officer Chris Gallagher noted that a neurologist could bolster other areas of the hospital financially such as radiology. It was too premature for the board to consider approving an employment contract Monday night. The recruitment continues.
McAndrew also told the board that a hospital physician had expressed concerns about patients being steered away from her. McAndrew said he had checked out the allegation but hadn’t been able to validate her concerns.
In other board business, Financial Officer Donna Wallace said the hospital had a good month in September as they did better than budgeted amounts. She noted the hospital now has 96 days of cash on hand, an emphasis in recent months. Tax money is beginning to come in.
The board granted the first of what will be several tax abatement agreements for Aerostar, makers of balloons for science. This one was for an engineering phase.
Administrator Michael McAndrew told the board he was hoping to add an additional partner for the hospital’s Nursing Home Upper Payment Limit Supplemental Payment Program. McAndrew made it clear he would only pursue the new partner if they cover Memorial Hospital cash flow issues. The program could generate $6-million for Memorial Hospital over a two year period. The hospital is required to keep a close eye on nursing home operations. The hospital agreement so far involves nursing homes in Tyler and Longview.
The board also approved employee Christmas gifts. The board also approved purchase of one overhead light for the Operating Room that was in the budget and also a weight-bearing platform for Orthopedics at the Clinic not in the budget. The board was told the platform would allow x-rays to be made of a patient’s foot or ankle.