Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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March 31, 2014

Audits offer glimpse of tough three years — The road to recovery for Pauls Valley General Hospital continues to go one small step at a time.

At the latest hospital authority meeting, information showing how bad things were, became available.

Audits indicate that it wasn’t how much damage was caused by a lack of communication and oversight. It’s how lucky PVGH was that the situation didn’t spiral even further.

“I think the hospital is going is a positive direction. I think it’s a good change,” said Trent Pettus with a Tulsa based accounting firm.

“I hope Jim (Clough, PVGH CEO) and the rest of the New Light (Health Care) crew can continue to expand on that.”

Though the 2013 audit is still in a rough draft form, they did offer their overall findings.

This focused on some of the biggest weaknesses in 2011-2012, the worst recent year.

Many of these stemmed from accounting practices where accounts were unsettled for a year or longer. This hindered the process as workers were asked to fix problems they didn’t fully understand.

“That is a basic function in accounting,” said Pettus. “These material weaknesses further complicated things because they were not properly dated.”

“It is difficult for a hospital this size because you have so many payments coming in going out. It is unacceptable to have unreconciled bank accounts for that many months.”

Pettus noted how progress has been made with the help of New Light in getting these accounts settled through 2014. Some of the things they said could have caught these problems are being applied now and is just a simple review process.

He said the hospital board and later the authority made decisions based on incomplete data.

“There were very few formal processes in place. I think that was due to the constant turnover in the management positions at the hospital. As a result the information being reported to the board was unreliable,” said Pettus.

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