MINUTES FOR THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL/ASHLAND HOSPITAL BOARD
July 2, 2002 - 7:00 p.m.
Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street
Mayor DeBoer called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers.
Councilor Laws, Reid, Hartzell, Jackson, Morrison and Hearn were present.
STATUS OF ASHLAND COMMUNITY HEALTHCARE SERVICES BOARD
Ashland Community Hospital (ACH) Director Jim Watson introduced Mike MacGraw, Controller, and Board Member Dan Jackson.
Jackson gave an update on the utilization and growth of hospital and staff and the increase in patient use. He noted that due to this growth, ACH employees now number about 387. For the upcoming year he projected close to $60 million in gross charges, with 47% of that figure ($28 million) being uncompensated, resulting in a net revenue figure for next year of about $32 million dollars. From that figure, payroll is $17,000,00, goods and services about $13 million, capital equipment about $1 million, and building additions of $3.8 million. He reported that, as in the past, it is our philosophy to not put the hospital in any debt and that the planned additions to the facility can be accomplished without incurring debt.
Watson shared some of the challenges that the hospital faces and noted that the greatest challenge is Medicare reimbursement, explaining that the gap between costs and reimbursement grows every year. He explained that the second greatest challenge is the shortage of healthcare workers and that this shortage will play an increasing role in how this healthcare system meets its mission to our communities. The third greatest challenge is commercial insurance because fewer companies are writing insurance, there are fewer insurance products, the costs of malpractice insurance is rising, and there is a lack of affordable health insurance for employees. Further, affordable housing is an issue, and that the opportunity to recruit good people, including physicians, is lost due to the high cost of housing. He noted that lack of parking is also a problem.
Watson concluded that, on the positive side, they have found the right mix of services to retain people and are looking forward to a prosperous future.
It was noted that they are in the process of establishing a separate not-for-profit corporation that will be able to offer services, including lab services, to healthcare providers.
Council expressed appreciation of hospital board members and staff.
Meeting was adjourned at 7:15 p.m.
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