Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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May 21, 2014

Smaller improvements paving way for secure PVGH future

emann@pvdemocrat.com — The progress toward stability for Pauls Valley General Hospital has long term been a slower pace out of necessity.

Yet, that slower pace has allowed the necessary smaller steps to build up and as the summer approaches, for PVGH CEO/CFO John Dolan the pace lately has been much quicker.

It was at the most recent PV Hospital Authority meeting that he reported much better prospects when it came to losses and revenue.

As of the month of April there was still a loss of $153,000, but Dolan noted after depreciation and interest it is down to around 89,000.

He said the stresses on their cash flow have been brought down gradually since one of the rougher points back in November when they were much more critical and it is showing in accounts receivable.

This was partly addressed after Authority Trustee Gary Alfred asked for an update on that, which included good news that it was now resulting in a much needed influx of cash. It is believed at some point soon it will level off and there are enough volume of charges that it will eventually help sustain their overall financial system.

“I’m not going to say there’s not going to be a loss,” said Dolan. “But we’re a lot better off than we were in the past…we’re turning claims around quicker into cash”

As these items like collections and cash flow are strengthened during the interim, it gives more time until initiatives are started on things like radiology. Once they are back up and going it will also offset significant future losses as well.

Some of the first things expected to offer benefits on the radiology side of things should be ultrasound and mammography, while things like x-ray and CT will take longer, said Dolan.

Quotes on those from different vendors are being gathered at the moment and will be evaluated with physician input before being brought before council for approval.

There are also immediate needs that will need to be addressed like getting another ambulance and initiating better patient monitoring.

Alfred pointed out how while they are trying to do the improvements as efficiently as possible, he wanted to make sure they weren’t going to go with the cheapest equipment purchases either.

He noted how the hospital has done that before and believes getting a step up is the best way to be competitive.

“You understand now when we’re getting these bids we’re not getting bottom of the barrel,” said Alfred. “We want something that’s comparable.”

As far as surgery, the initial summary showing how much it will cost to bring back surgery was recently presented to the Authority.

Just the job cost by itself will be about $786,180 and $939,491 after additional fees, according to construction manager Nabholz Construction.

Approval of the overall bids by the subcontractor could come as soon as Tuesday, May 27 when the next Authority meeting is scheduled. The possibility of approving it this past meeting was tabled as it did not make the agenda as intended.

Once it does happen, it is expected to spur the city’s financial involvement, be it another loan or a bond to help pay for it.

“We’re getting closer and closer to breaking even,” said Dolan. “Moving in the right direction.”

Dolan is also hoping to have the 2014/2015 fiscal year budget ready by the next meeting. He said moving forward as a of that meeting and including steps from the financial measures in place, surgery and radiology, the budget has a very good chance of staying out of the red.

Long term after these plans are working, they will then be able to go with physician recruiting and getting new services started. That will include exploring the steps to make those happen, including how many doctors as well as other treatment professionals they need.

“I think we’ll be able to show a positive budget,” said Dolan. “Next year as we bring those reports we’ll be able to draw comparisons.”

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