Lincoln County leaders talk hospital’s survival

Updated: Aug. 27, 2019 at 10:32 PM CDT
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LINCOLN COUNTY, Tenn. (WAFF) - At a regular monthly board meeting Tuesday, the survival of the county hospital took center stage. Leaders discussed a number of solutions to financial issues facing the Lincoln Health System.

Bob Lonis, the system’s Chief Financial Officer detailed a number of areas that need addressing like filling top-ranking vacancies and turning around financial shortcomings.

August 21, the county-owned, non-profit corporation announced that Chief Executive Officer, Candie Starr, no longer works with the medical center. Effective Sept. 3, William R. (Russ) Spray will serve as Interim-CEO.

Admission rates have fallen 10 percent from the previous year. Lonis stating the number of admissions were the lowest in hospital history within the last few weeks.

The system provides a number of other services that have performed well.

The Patrick Rehab and Wellness Center exceeded expectations in the past year.

Other services like home health and physician clinics were steady. County ambulance service, or EMS, performed well throughout the year but struggled within recent weeks.

Last year, system leaders voted to consolidate two long term care facilities which will save them money in the long run, Lonis says. Soon they will sell the vacant lot left behind from this merger.

A regular audit adjustment is underway. This is an annual process. The audit is completed by an outside agency.

Lincoln Health Systems relies heavily on special state funding, internal operation revenue, outside funding initiatives and grants. Lonis says they do not receive local tax subsidies.

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