Hospital board sets tax rate

The Nolan County Hospital District Board of Directors met for a regular meeting on Monday evening, Aug. 29, 2011 at Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital (RPMH).The 2012 budget for the hospital was approved, following no changes from the Budget Workshop previously held on Monday, Aug. 22. The proposed tax rate was set at .25237, which was the same as last year. As a result, two public meetings on the proposed tax rate were scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 6 and Friday, Sept. 9. Both public hearings will be held at noon, and on Monday, Sept. 12, a noon meeting will be held to vote on the proposed tax rate. All three scheduled meetings were approved by the board.In addition, the topic of redistricting was discussed as some lines will need to be slightly redrawn after review from a redistricting law firm, and two resolutions were approved. The first one adopted criteria for use in the 2011 Redistricting Process; the second resolution established guidelines for persons submitting specific redistricting proposals during the 2011 Redistricting Process.Proposed redistricting maps were presented to the board members, in which a brief discussion of the plans took place. A public hearing on redistricting will be scheduled for sometime in September.Also approved regarding new business was the RPMH Election on the Employee Health Plan, which is done annually. Other approvals were for the Credentialing Files, Quality Report, Medical Staff rules and regulations, a Trauma Designation resolution, and recruitment for an Orthopedic Surgeon.In addition, a report on the Foundation Status was given, a topic which has been in discussion since this year's Strategic Planning retreat held in April. Reactivation of the program has been the central issue, and a committee met in June to look over the Articles and Bylaws that were previously in effect.After some review, it was determined that the status is still intact and the group can be re-formed, though it has been inactive for some time. The board approved reactivating the Foundation Status, and the next step will be to establish and appoint a new board which can seat at least seven but no more than twelve members.Furthermore, a change was approved in professional services which was discussed at last month's meeting. A discussion also took place on the board's self-assessment — another item presented last month, which will be introduced in further detail at the board's Strategic Planning Retreat next spring. The self-assessment assists the board in ways to improve all aspects, including the use of resources to improve patient care. The board was praised for their decisions regarding the recent hospital renovations, and initial talks began on the potential of upgrading technology within board meetings to stay innovative.The finances for July 2011 were reviewed and approved at the meeting as well. The financial statements were reported as very well for the month, in that overall revenue and total operating expenses came out over budget. Several departments fared very well for the month and overall, the budget came within $700. Year to date, the budget is within $123,000, a great improvement from the previous year.The accounts payable and payroll, along with the bad-debt write off, for July of this year were also approved. Additionally, approval was also given for the minutes from the previous meeting and the Special-Called meeting on Aug. 22.In the Administrator's Report, Donna Boatright noted that Phase 1 of the Facility Plan work is winding down, as approval from the state should be given sometime this week. Because of the replacements in air conditioning, two A/Cs — which were the newest before the renovations — are now to be in use at the Pioneer Museum.Regarding marketing, the Community Outreach team met again and prepared baskets to welcome back the school year. Great feedback has been heard as a result and plans for the fall and winter months through Christmas are currently in motion.Also, the hospital is very close to recruiting an orthopedic surgeon as more contacts are being made and continue. Dr. Dennis, the local OB/GYN, has had very good business as 20 deliveries were reported for July and to date, August has seen 15 deliveries.Updates were also given from two previous meetings which board members attended. A recap of the recent visit of Senator Robert Duncan to Sweetwater was given as well as the trip to the Texas Hospital Trustees (THT) meeting.The THT meeting proved to be very informative to those who attended, and a representative from the meeting will be on site next month to offer a presentation and positive improvement strategies for the hospital. The services will come at no cost to the hospital.