The Floyd Hospital Authority board passed a resolution to clean up some old business that came to light as the merger plans with North Carolina-based Atrium Health move forward.
The board approved that resolution during a joint meeting of the hospital authority and Floyd Healthcare Management board on Sept. 28. It primarily focused on properties at 310 and 330 Shorter Ave. and others on Elizabeth Street and West Fifth Street.
However, as those smaller details were hashed out, attorneys continue to address details concerning the much larger deal between Floyd Medical Center and Atrium. Atrium has agreed to invest $650 million in the Floyd system — including Polk and Cherokee medical centers — over an 11-year period of time, as well as invest a substantial sum in the Floyd Healthcare Foundation.
A soft deadline to have those items finalized and board-approval ready is Oct. 16. If that deadline is met, it will then go before the board. After that point, the deal will go before state regulators and out for public comment before it can be completed.
In Monday’s business, the board also approved changing some of the bylaws for the Floyd Healthcare Foundation as the Atrium deal approaches. If the merger is approved, those bylaws will likely need to be changed again, a presenter said.
In a FY 2020 financial report through Aug. 31 for Floyd Healthcare Management — which operates Floyd Medical Center, Polk Medical Center and Cherokee Medical Center — she showed that system was recovering from a dip in the number of patients being treated in April.
For instance, visits to the emergency room dropped significantly across the board in April but have recovered in the months since, according to the report presented by Floyd’s Interim Chief Financial Officer Clarice Cable.
However, using emergency room visits again, each of the hospitals appear to have recovered from the stark drops seen while the state was in a mandated shutdown as a result of COVID-19.
The board also approved just over $400,000 for the purchase of a Siemens CT scanner through its charitable arm.
“Covid has sort of brought a new game to chest imaging,” said Aimee Griffin, the director of imaging services for the three hospitals.
The older scanner at Cherokee Medical Center cannot provide specific scanning for COVID-19 positive patients, she said, and there are other problems — such as not having parts available when the scanner has issues.
On top of that, the scanner’s patient weight limit of 350 pounds forced Cherokee to occasionally send patients to Floyd Medical Center for a scan on equipment that could handle larger patients.