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HMH fills hospitalist position


By John R. Schirmer

News-Leader staff

Howard Memorial Hospital board members received welcome news at their meeting this week.

CEO Debra Wright announced that Dr. John R. Johnson has accepted the full-time hospitalist position effective Aug. 23.

Dr. Johnson has worked the past few months in the Emergency Department, according to Wright. 

A former Nashville resident, Dr. Johnson returned to his hometown when he began working in the department, Wright said.

The physician recruitment update was one of several topics in Wright’s report to the board.

The hospital will hold a celebration at 2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 17, in the front lobby to mark two recent honors. HMH has received national Top 20 and Top 100 rankings in the last several months.

The most recent was the Top 20 spot among the nation’s Critical Access Hospitals.

The board, providers, volunteers and staff “want to celebrate these honors with the communities we serve,” Wright said. “Without your support, these honors would not be possible.”

The public is invited to attend the event.

The Centers for Disease Control recently launched a new Covid-19 website, according to Wright. The site “is part of the CDC’s ongoing efforts to make information on Covid-19 readily available and easier to find, especially as we enter the fall respiratory virus season. The web pages are structured to allow ready access to most search-for information and will help to frame Covid-19 actions as those that can be incorporated in everyday public health practice.”

Howard Memorial’s mammography program was inspected June 24 “with no deficiencies,” Wright said. “HMH is very proud of the radiology staff who perform mammograms and congratulate them for this deficiency-free inspection.”

HMH held a retirement reception July 11 for physical therapist Steve Lewis, a long-time hospital employee. “He leaves very big shoes to fill. He will definitely be missed by his HMH family,” Wright said.

CFO Bill Craig presented the financial report for June.

Howard Memorial had 25 days revenue in accounts receivable. The target is less than 45 days, Craig said.

HMH reported 122.5 days cash on hand, compared to the target of greater than 145 days.

For June, the hospital had a net loss of about $72,700. The budget had projected net income of about $34,300.

Collectible revenue from patient services is about $138,800 short of budget, Craig said. 

The average daily census for the month was 5.9 compared to the budget of 7.3.

Emergency Department visit were 153 short of budget at 697.

Surgery cases exceeded budget projections at 94, compared to 92 budgeted cases.

Receipts for June, excluding clinics, amounted to nearly $3 million.

Operating costs for the month were $33,490 under budget.

The hospital’s share of net income from LHC Home Health JV was $23,717 for June, compared to the budget of $35,000 profit, Craig said.

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