Hospital trustees choose a three-pronged attack on money woes

by C.F. David

Memorial Hospital's CEO, Rod Burrus gave the Board of Trustees three options to attack the hospital's money woes.

“These are all good ways,” Burrus said.

They chose to utilize all three.

H Borrow money.

H Sell the Accounts Receivable

H Work their way out.

Prior to the meeting, Burrus had admitted that number three, working their way out was the most distasteful to him due to time and credit restraints.

He was however hopeful that money could be borrowed.

“We have no long-term debt,” he pointed out.

“My criteria are twofold; pay our critical suppliers; and pay our local merchants. I strongly believe we need to support our local businesses,” Burrus explained.

Those two computers give us half of what we need in the billing department and we need our six employees trained on them.”

“I'm really impressed, Dan [Trustee Dan Gholson] has contacted several of his buddies that build computers, to see if they can build us some.

Burrus then said that the County commission had already brought in two new computers for the billing department and a search was on for the best price for billing software.

“I have been talking with one company that will let us make payments on the software over four years,” he added.

On Tuesday, several days after the meeting Burrus said the board had decided that he should be the person searching for money from lenders.

“The board decided they needed one person to talk to each of the bankers approached.

“I am presently working with two bankers and am getting ready to contact two more,” Burrus said.

“Also, we are getting close to being able to make payroll for everyone but department heads and our physicians; so we've cut some checks. I feel we need to take care of those who have the least. Each of our department heads need their checks too. But, when you have this person over here that makes $6.50 an hour and has a couple of kids...they're hurting,” he said.

“The board did decide to use all three options I presented. However, on selling the Accounts Receivable, we'll need an outside auditor, and with the way our computer systems are it would be difficult to do an audit right now,” Burrus explained.

Also, Patsy [Patsy Shields] has been invaluable as a consultant. We've been using her to consult on billing for over a month,” Burrus said.

(Shields was the other interviewee for Burrus' present position.)

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