The Pemiscot Memorial Health Systems Board met in Hayti, Mo., Sept. 18 to discuss continued restructuring and rebuilding from a financial crisis that has left many employees furloughed and the institution looking for ways to climb out of what has been described as a four million dollar debt. During an interview on Sept. 20, CEO Jack Pennington said that the Board discussed the consolidation loan to pay off vendors and that all is moving ahead on those fronts.
Pennington also said that the Board discussed the Obstetrics Department. CFO Kerry Noble discussed declining numbers in deliveries at the last meeting, stating that there had been only about 60 this year. Pennington said that the number of deliveries compared to births in the county was very small, and that the Board agreed to “monitor the situation” without taking action at their meeting.
Two new Ob/Gyn doctors have moved to the area, one here less than a year ago and the other around a year and half ago, according to Pennington. The Ob/Gyn wing of the hospital was remodeled and Pennington said that the Board was going to monitor and pursue options for the department. He says that he feels the institution should have begun to have felt the impact of these new doctors with a rise in deliveries, but they have not seen the numbers “double” like they hoped they would.
He says the Board is not ruling out or in any action as of the meeting concerning the Ob/Gyn Department, but would continue “looking into” the situation. “The amount of service is just not comparable to the expenses,” he said, “The Board agreed to look at the situation and discuss it further at another meeting.”
The Board is a new five member board, who were all appointed by the Pemiscot County Commission when the five elected members resigned. The new Board is just beginning the process of evaluating all areas to see how to make the institution financially feasible. The hospital is looking at contracts such as food service and others, and returned the billing to in house to cut back on expenses.