Commissioners invite hospital board to discuss levy request at Monday meeting

Staff Report

MOUNT GILEAD — Tuesday, the Morrow County Commissioners invited the Morrow County Hospital Board to send a representative, along with Morrow County Hospital CEO Chad Miller, to the Monday, July 20 Morrow County Commissioners Hearing to discuss the hospital’s request for a $7 million tax levy to be placed on the Nov. 3, 2020 ballot.

“It’s no secret that the Commissioners and the Hospital Board have had their share of disagreements about the hospital recently,” Morrow County Commissioner Tom Whiston said. “On behalf of Morrow County taxpayers, the commissioners have an obligation to ensure basic transparency and sound financial management of the hospital. Those responsibilities are at their highest when we ask taxpayers to pledge $7 million during these unprecedented economic times.”

The Commissioners identified a handful of simple yet important financial questions that the hospital board has declined to answer for months, according to a news release they issued Tuesday.

Those questions are:

1. Is the Hospital Board complying with all Ohio Revised Code purchasing, borrowing, and investment requirements for the $20 million-plus in county funds that they annually oversee?

How many services previously provided by County staff are now being handled by OhioHealth, and were those services competitively bid?

2. To ensure that the Hospital Board is safeguarding taxpayer dollars and acting within the law, will the Board agree to a partial audit to be performed by the Ohio Auditor of State?

3. Will the Hospital Board provide a breakdown of how much they are paying OhioHealth to manage the Morrow County Hospital?

Why have OhioHealth fees increased 300%? Five years ago, OhioHealth was paid about $500,000 to manage the hospital. Today, they’re paid almost $2 million despite offering fewer services and managing less employees.

How much has the Hospital Board paid to OhioHealth in management bonuses since approving the 2017 management agreement?

How much does the public pay Morrow County Hospital CEO Chad Miller? Mr. Miller is the only publicly-funded employee in Morrow County whose salary is kept a secret. Other CEOs at public hospitals around the state disclose how much their CEOs are paid.

4. Please explain why you need the levy with no debt, and showing a $10 million cash reserve.

“The Morrow County Commissioners hope that members of the Morrow County Hospital Board will attend this public meeting and answer these basic questions that taxpayers deserve to know,” Commissioner Burgess Castle said.

“If they prefer, we’re happy to receive their written answers and make those available to the public. If a public hospital isn’t willing to provide answers and some basic transparency to its taxpayers then they’re saying they don’t want a tax levy.”

Staff Report