Darroll Freeman re-sworn in as member of hospital authority

Darroll Freeman (left) takes the oath to serve out another term on the Cedartown-Polk County Hospital Authority as administered by attorney Mike McRae during the board’s monthly meeting on Tuesday, June 23.

A decrease in patients in the final months of Floyd Polk Medical Center’s fiscal year comes as a decrease in its overall profit is predicted for the next fiscal year.

Members of the Cedartown-Polk County Hospital Authority and the Polk Medical Center, Inc., boards reviewed reports at their monthly meeting last Tuesday discussing the hospital’s patient statistics and also reviewing its FY2021 budget, which begins July 1.

According to the figures presented by Matt Gorman, Vice President of Corporate and Network Services for Floyd Medical Center, Polk Medical Center saw a decline in emergency room visits as well as inpatient and observation admissions in the two months following the state of emergency orders that were issued as a result of the new coronavirus outbreak.

From mid-March, which is considered the start of the main wave of COVID-19 cases in the country, hospitals and medical facilities across the country took steps toward keeping patients and staff safe while still providing necessary care to those who needed it.

Polk Medical Center had 1,481 emergency care center visits in May, up from 1,178 in April but still below the average of between 2,100 to 2,300 a month recorded for the fiscal year leading up to March.

Tifani Kinard, Polk Medical Center administrator and Chief Nursing Officer, said inpatient numbers remain strong for the whole fiscal year. Despite a dip form 71 in April to 52 in May the hospital is expected to have 948 admissions for FY2020, which ended Tuesday.

Kinard said they saw an increase in ER visits during the first few weeks of June.

She cautioned that COVID-19 numbers in Georgia remain high and precautions are still needed to ensure it doesn’t get worse, however they have instituted robust cleaning and sanitization efforts at the hospital and ask that anyone who needs medical care to seek it.

“The hospital is still a safe place to seek care,” Kinard said. “We’ve seen a decrease in patients getting care for stroke or heart disease since the pandemic started, and we know that these diseases have not disappeared.”

The decrease in ER visits had a direct effect on the hospital’s revenue for May, which came in at 15.56% lower than last May and 22.18% lower than budgeted. Gross revenue for the month is $8.85 million dollars, about $2.8 million below what was budgeted.

Overall, the hospital’s year-to-date revenue through May is 4.96% below the same period as last year.

The boards then approved the FY2021 budget, which, among other things, lists that the hospital is expected to have its profit cut by $1.65 million, or 19.53%, compared to its projected profit for FY2020. This year’s projected profit was listed as $8.43 million, while the projected amount for next year is $6.78 million.

In other action, the boards approved new staff for the hospital and new, 3-year terms for CPCHA board members Sondi Smith Vest and Britt Madden. Board vice chair Darroll Freeman was also sworn in to his current term by fellow board member Mike McRae.

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