Pictured is the entrance to the Morrow County Hospital at 651 W. Marion St., Mount Gilead.

Courtesy photo

By Alberta Stojkovic

For the Sentinel

At the Nov. 28 meeting of the Morrow County Hospital (MCH) Board of Trustees, President Joe Dreyer noted the management agreement with OhioHealth is up for renewal Dec. 31. The board then extended the contract for one year.

The board’s negotiating group member Jennifer Williams said the board and negotiating group is still working towards a long-term working relationship with OhioHealth. Extending the management contract is for the purpose of working through details for more connection with OhioHealth hospitals.

Williams said the committee received OhioHealth’s Letter of Intent (LOI) that morning and had met with MCH attorneys. She said the attorneys will examine the LOI, and the board’s negotiating group will have a meeting concerning the LOI and further steps with OhioHealth in December with follow up at the January 2024 meeting. Jim Flynn and Shannon Martin of the law firm Bricker and Graydon have been hired by the hospital board for the purpose of negotiating with OhioHealth.

Board member Brenda Harden said she would like to have the entire board view the letter. Williams and Dreyer said they would go over information concerning the letter of intent in the executive session following the board meeting.

In other business, MCH Financial Director Jason Gates presented a new format for the monthly financial report with a “dashboard” of pie charts and graphs in addition to monthly numbers of income and expense.

The net operating income trend shows progress from income in the red of $4 million in 2018 to a gradual increase to $3.3 million in profit for year-to-date (YTD) in 2023.

“There are strong volumes and consequently, strong revenues,” Gates said.

In contrast to YTD 2023, 2022 operating income was $2.3 million and $3.3 million in 2023. There is a 5% margin after payment of bills and 320 days cash on hand. Increased numbers in surgeries and scopes contribute to improved numbers as well as a greater mix with commercial and managed Medicare payments.

Gates called attention to increases in both inpatient and outpatient services. Changes in surgical service mix is trending out of traditional surgical volumes and into endoscopies. Expenses are also growing due to inflationary pressures, resource constraints , staffing pay, unplanned purchased service, legal fees related to the OhioHealth/MCH engagement, capital investment and maintenance contracts.

Board member Ron Ragor said, “The dashboard charts give insight and a window into services even better than the numbers. The past view and history shows where we are and who we can become to better serve Morrow County citizens.”

Alberta Stojkovic is a correspondent for The Morrow County Sentinel.

Alberta Stojkovic is a correspondent for The Morrow County Sentinel.