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Hospital proposes slight tax increase

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Hamilton County Hospital District’s board of directors Monday afternoon approved a proposed tax rate, purchased a sign, reviewed quality improvement reports and OK’d medical staff appointments.

Last year’s tax rate for the district was 16.3 cents per $100 valuation, said Administrator Grady Hooper. The effective rate, which would bring in the same amount of income as last year, is 15.9 cents per $100, while this year’s rollback rate is 17.2 cents.

“We’ve always tried to maintain the effective rate, although it continues to go down,” said board president Bill Craig. “We’ve stayed with 16 cents. The question is, do we want to raise that?”

“Compared to hospitals across the state, we might be the cheapest,” said board member Doug Forrest. “What if we go up to 17? That’s less than a penny.”

The board voted to raise the rate by .8 of a cent to 17 cents, which would generate an additional $35,000 for the district. Two public hearings will be scheduled for input on the proposed tax rate.

Signage for the hospital will be located in the vacant lot at Highway 36 and Brown and point visitors to the hospital.

The 20x10-foot illuminated sign will set on a four-foot masonry base and include a programmable and dimmable screen.

The board authorized Hooper to finish the project.

Director of Quality Melissa DeLaGarza presented for the April-to-June quarter, with a few scores lower than the previous quarter.

The report reflected responses from 47 patients with an overall mean score of 92.1, 2.1 points higher than last period.

The greatest increases in scores were in temperature of food, quality of food, accommodation and comfort of visitors, noise level in and around the room and staff attitude toward visitors.

The greatest decreases were in courtesy of person starting IV, courtesy of person admitting, staff addressed emotional needs, pleasantness of room décor and courtesy of person who took blood.

DeLaGarza said the decreases are being addressed and some could be attributed to the room shifting to transition to Critical Access status. She added that new TVs will roll out soon and furniture is being evaluated.

The directors approved the appointment of radiologists Adam Borowski, Daniel Flores, Nathan Forrest, Howard Klaskin, James Olmsted, Dennis Parks, Erin Prince, Kathleen Sorensen, Rajiv Srinivasa, Gustavo Villarreal and Jeffery White; and allied health staff Mistee Jefferies, NP; Kenneth Kretz Sr, CRNA; Vanessa Landgrave, clinical technician; and Trevor Watson, FNP.

In presenting the financial report for July, CFO Eddie Read said revenues were $6,580,000, adjustments $4.2 million, total operating revenue $2.3 million.

Operating expenses for the month were $2.3 million, resulting in net income from operations of $61,000.