Hospital Board receives reimbursement from county

By Daniel Brunty
The Choctaw Plaindealer

The Choctaw County Board of Supervisors met with the Hospital Board of Trustees to resolve an issue regarding reimbursement during its May 18 meeting held at the Choctaw County Courthouse boardroom.

The hospital board had recently met with the supervisors in their previous meeting held on May 11, in which the hospital board requested a reimbursement of non-operating expenses in the amount of $463,000 that were used to make building maintenance and improvements of the hospital, clinics, and nursing homes. These expenses also included computer hardware & software, Life Safety code, and future projects.

After the request was made, the supervisors approved a motion to table the request until further research could be acquired before making the decision to provide the reimbursement. They informed the Hospital Board that they provide their decision during the May 18 meeting.

The meeting began with the supervisors meeting with the Hospital Board. Before any discussion was started about the decision regarding the reimbursement, Hospital Board President Rick Jenkins addressed the board. Jenkins wanted to add to the minutes of the Hospital Board a motion regarding an interest payment on loan or monies of hospital funds or borrow the amount from the line of credit for $125,000 (this motion would later be rescinded by the Hospital Board of Trustees).

This would lead to District 5 Supervisor Eric Chambers wanting to discuss the interest and principal payments regarding the hospital funds. Chambers wanted to express his concerns to the Hospital Board of it not being able to make the interest and principal payments. Chambers was worried that if the Hospital Board could not make payments, they would fall back upon the county to make and would cost the taxpayers’ money.

Chambers also wanted to express his concerns regarding the reimbursement payments, in which Chambers stated that the reimbursement should be covered in the scope of the agreement done in regards to the line of credit opened by the Hospital Board and supervisors.

Hospital Board President Rick Jenkins, as well as Choctaw Regional Medical Center CEO Jamie Rodgers and Toby Butler of Trilogy Healthcare Systems informed the supervisors that they were very confident that the Hospital Board would be able to make both payments at the time they are due, and expect the revenue generated by the hospital, clinics and nursing homes over that time period will be sufficient for this.

After a few more minutes of discussion of this topic, the meeting came around to the reimbursement payment. Board President Chris McIntire asked for a motion to approve the claim of the Hospital Board in the amount of $463,000 for non-operating capital expenses. District 1 Supervisor Archie Collins made a motion to approve, which was seconded by District 2 Supervisor Larry McClain. The motion passed with McIntire and District 4 Supervisor David Carter approving the motion. Chambers was counted as absent for the vote.

In other news, the board:
Approved request to cast ballots for Board of Directors for MASIT Insurance Company, and sign by board president on behalf of the county
Approved request of Tax Assessor to enter into a new agreement for copy machine in office
Approved inventory deletions
The Choctaw County Board of Supervisors will hold its next meeting on May 29 at 9 a.m. in the Choctaw County Courthouse Boardroom.