Pocahontas Memorial Hospital Finishes Fiscal Year In The Black

Marlinton, Wv – Dr Robert Must, Chairman of the Pocahontas Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees, says that he is pleased with the hospital’s performance of late. He gave this wrap up to the nearly completed Fiscal Year.

“This time last year, we were closing on the end of the fiscal year, we had a 1.2 million dollar loss” he says. “Something happened between then and now, because now we’re closing on the end of [this] Fiscal Year and we’re in the black. Just a little in the black but we’re in the black.”

But he says now is not to the time to stop the procedures that have proved to be working. He wants the staff to continue the daily monitoring to ensure the complete capture of charges and to remind the staff of the importance of patient satisfaction.

Interim CEO Barbara Lay told the Board that she has worked with Sentry, the parent company of the HMS billing service that was recently discontinued. Lay says the hospital is contesting the statement for the billing service due to its poor performance. She says they estimate that HMS cost the hospital $250,000.00 in unrecoverable late charges.

Sentry offered to reduce its $109,000.00 bill by $25,000.00, but Lay said she felt that wasn’t good enough and pressed for additional reductions. Sentry eventually offered to reduce the debt by $50,000 leaving the Hospital liable for $59,000. Lay told the Board, the only way to reduce the bill further would be through legal proceedings which would probably end up costing even more. The Board voted to accept Sentry’s offer.

Lay told the Board that Colonoscopy procedures may be coming back to PMH. An Elkins physician is interested in doing the procedures at the Hospital. Lay says that since the Hospital is already paying for the required equipment, it is logical to resume offering the service.

Lay told the Board that the $50,000 grant from the West Virginia Rural Health System has been approved and that the Hospital will be getting an entirely new network of computers.

Aaron Vaughn, the staff IT Expert, told the board that he has been working with Frontier Communications on a new phone system for the Hospital. Vaughn says that the price of technology has declined and as a result, the Hospital can lease a completely new phone system including all hardware, software and wiring and reduce the monthly phone bill by $1,100 per month.

Dr Must reported on the activities of the CEO Search Committee. He says they received 8 applications and interviewed 3 highly qualified individuals. Based of those interviews, the field has been narrowed to two. Since delicate negotiations are on going, he could not share any names or other details at this time.

In other actions, the Board approved the following:

To write off $120,000.00 in bad debt
To participate in a credentialing service offered by Partners in Health
And permitting the staff to discard several lots of obsolete, no longer serviceable equipment.

The next meeting of the Board of Trustees will be Thursday July 28th at noon.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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