Henry County Medical Center Board of Trustees Discuss Financials for November and Report a Mutual Separation Between CEO and Organization

CUTLINE:  HCMC Board of Trustees Vice Chair Troy Buttrey discusses the different Leadership Assessment companies that HCMC is looking to engage.  The HCMC Board of Trustees met on Monday, Dec. 21.

Paris, TN – Brad Bloemer, Chief Financial Officer, gave the financial report for November, which was a good month thanks to stimulus funding received for COVID-19.  HCMC received $4.4 million in November from the American Rescue Act, with $996,000 of that amount being recognized during the month.  With these funds, HCMC saw a $377,000 total profit in November.

In December, HCMC received an additional $800,000 in stimulus funds from phase 4 of the Cares Act.  “We are currently up to $22 million in cash, which has put us in the best cash position we’ve seen in a while,” said Brad Bloemer, CFO.

In November, our employee health claims were large and our contract labor is still up.  We averaged 36 inpatients per day, down from the 55 inpatients per day budgeted.  Surgeries were on budget and ER visits were just below budget.

The physician clinics saw only a loss of $29,000, which was an improvement from prior months.  Converting three clinics to Rural Health Clinics has helped to improve the financial viability of the physician clinics.

At their meeting on Monday night, the Henry County Commission approved the $4.5 million bond for needed equipment that was discussed at the Dec. 6 joint work session.  Overall, HCMC is in a very good financial position.

Bad debts in the amount of $622,883.25 were approved by the Board for the month of November.  This is the average amount brought to the Board each month.

There were two capital equipment requests for pc replacements and laboratory equipment at $59,609.

In unfinished business, Troy Buttrey, Vice Chair of the Board, discussed the leadership assessment process the Board of Trustees plan to engage.  Four companies were evaluated with three proposals submitted.  The Board received these proposals prior to the Board meeting.  Buttrey discussed interview processes within the organization that the assessment would collect, including 45 face-to-face interviews and 200 phone interviews.  The Work Institute out of Franklin, TN was recommended by Buttrey and has a history in healthcare.  Once engaged, the organization can start within two weeks.  Kreg Kyle made the motion and James Travis seconded the motion.  It was approved.

The Henry County Medical Center’s Financial Audit which was reviewed at the November Board meeting was approved by the Board.

Under new business, Dr. Scott Whitby, Board Chair, discussed the Home Health Quality Improvement Plan, which was included in the Board packet prior to the meeting.  For JCAHO requirements, the Board must review and approve the plan and that was completed at the meeting.

Dr. Scott Whitby discussed a contract update regarding the CEO.  The Board of Trustees voted to remove/change Lisa Casteel’s role from CEO to consultant from now through January 31, 2022. During that time Mrs. Casteel will serve as a consultant and be available at our request to assist HCMC to transition to a new CEO. This agreement between HCMC and Mrs. Casteel was reached to help HCMC, its employees, and the community to move forward.  This contract update was approved by the Board after a motion by Jamey Tosh and a second by Kreg Kyle.

Dr. Whitby provided a statement on behalf of the Board:

Henry County Medical Center’s Board has approved a change in Administration at the hospital, which will transition leadership from the present CEO, Lisa Casteel, to a new CEO.  This change was by agreement, with Mrs. Casteel agreeing to provide assistance and consultation over the coming weeks to facilitate a smooth transition to a new CEO.

Lisa Casteel has been a valued employee of HCMC for the past 16 years, and has provided leadership during the most challenging time in the history of the hospital, during an unprecedented pandemic that has challenged all health care delivery.  This has been in addition to maintaining the sound finances and viability of the hospital in a time when rural hospitals across the state and country are closing at an alarming rate.  HCMC and the citizens of Henry County owe a debt of gratitude to Mrs. Casteel for this service.

HCMC is losing the CEO recently voted ‘Rural Hospital CEO of the Year’ by the Tennessee Hospital Association, which is a significant loss, but HCMC is grateful for her dedication to HCMC, and willingness to assist in her decision to step down from the position.  HCMC’s board warmly wishes Mrs. Casteel the best in the next phase of her life.

The transition is expected to be completed in January 2022.

CFO Brad Bloemer will serve as the Interim CEO as voted and approved by the Board.  Additionally, a national search will be conducted to find a new long-term CEO for the organization.

To learn more about the growth at Henry County Medical Center, go to our website at www.hcmc-tn.org and read about all the services we offer to care for our community.

The next Board of Trustees meeting will be Thursday, January 22 at 5:30 p.m. at the Henry County Medical Center Board Room.

About Henry County Medical Center

Located in Paris, TN, Henry County Medical Center is a progressive, integrated healthcare organization committed to serving the healthcare needs of Henry County and the adjoining region. Including a 142-bed hospital and 7 other facilities, the medical center provides a variety of outpatient services, as well as inpatient care. Henry County Medical Center is a county-owned and operated nonprofit institution. For more information: www.hcmc-tn.org.