With a budget in the works and positive news about facilities from the state, Crawford Memorial Hospital is getting ready to start a new fiscal year.
CMH board members Wednesday heard updates on the fiscal 2018 budget, approved audit contracts and learned the tentative results of inspections by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
The fiscal year begins May 1 and the budget is usually completed by mid-April. The board in February granted Interim Chief Financial Officer Gerald Klein an extra month to finish the financial plan.
This allowed him time to catch up following his appointment to replace former CFO Rick Carlson. Carlson retired in mid-January.
Klein did say he is looking at a $2 capital expenditures budget, down from the $4 million that has been common historically. He considers the figure "more realistic" and is encouraging manages to prioritize what they want. Price increases may also be under consideration.
He added CMH was over budget in March because of two large purchases. He expects this pattern to continue for the next month or two.
In a related matter, the firm of Kerber, Eck and Braeckel was again hired to handle the hospital's financial audit. The project will cost $35,400.
Meanwhile, a new company, CCI, was employed conduct an external audit of procedures such as billing.
Interim Chief Executive Officer Cindy Bradley had good news concerning recent surveys conducted by IDPH. CMH Home Health, the Magnolia Center and the Robinson Rural Health Clinic all passed inspection, according to preliminary reports. It was the clinic's first inspection in 11 years.
While final reports have yet to be released by the state, three tentative ones show "zero deficiencies" at the facilities. A fourth report, a second, separate one at the Magnolia Center, found one.
Bradley joked that when she joins a hospital, inspectors follow. More seriously, she added the previous hospital at which she worked usually had several deficiencies.
"These are all great surveys," she said. "I'm really pleased with them."
IDPH should return to CMH once renovations to the obstetrics unit are complete. Work there is almost finished, but the hospital will not be allowed to make use of the wing again until IDPH approves it.
Architect David Johnson's final bill for his work on the project was approved by the board Wednesday. He was paid $5,961.98. Hannig Construction was paid another $165,421.30 for its ongoing work on the OB department.
Bradley also said the hospital's contract policy is being updated. Among the changes, CMH is moving away from "evergreen" contracts that automatically renew themselves.