Board of Supervisors provides details on its role with county hospital
Manya Creel-Bryan (at podium) and James Williams
The Pearl River County Hospital and Nursing Home was a topic of discussion at this week’s Pearl River County Board of Supervisors meeting. The reason for this came about because the Board wanted to inform the public of how the Board of Supervisors and the hospital work together and dispel rumors that were being spread on social media.
James Williams, CEO and administrator of the hospital, and attorney Manya Creel- Bryan, who represents the hospital, were present at the meeting to answer any questions pertaining to the hospital.
District Supervisor 2 Malcolm Perry asked Williams to address the rumor that the Board of Supervisors had given the hospital $500,000.00.
"The Board of Supervisors have put a $500,000.00 line of credit in place, but the hospital has never drawn one cent from that line of credit,” Williams said.
Board Vice President Hudson Holliday added, “The line of credit was an arrangement between the Board of Supervisors and the hospital board, that in the event that the hospital needed some short-term money to make payroll. Part of the reason for that is the hospital bills Medicaid and they get reimbursed twice a month and some months there are three payrolls. The payroll for the hospital is a lot of money and they may be just two to three days between the time the reimbursement comes and they make payroll. This line of credit would allow the hospital to draw the money out if needed, and it clearly states that the money has to be paid back in 30 days once they get reimbursed from CMS.”
Holliday said the line of credit was setup in April 2017 and the hospital has not exercised the line of credit.
Holliday stated that the hospital employs about 350 people and has a payroll of approximately 10 to 12 million dollars a year and it contributes over $30 million a year to the local economy. He stated there are people from 16 counties that come to Poplarville to get services from the hospital and the hospital recently added a wound care center.
According to Board Attorney Joe Montgomery, the hospital is a county owned facility, but the Board of Supervisors does not manage the hospital. The Board of Supervisors appoints a five-member Board of Trustees that works with the hospital to provide oversight on the day to day operations. Montgomery said the county can levy up to 5 mills for the hospital, but only currently levies 1 mill to provide funding to assist to hospital.
County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin said around 2002-2003 timeframe, the hospital did a 60 bed addition to the nursing home in the new wing. The 1 mill is used to pay the note on the money that was borrowed. Holliday said the yearly amount on that note is around $312,000.00 per year.
Board President Sandy Kane Smith asked Creel-Bryan if she would give an update on the lawsuit that was filed against the previous administration.
The lawsuit has been settled and the hospital is very happy with the outcome, “ Creel-Bryan said and then added, ”I cannot address any details of the settlement.”
Williams said the hospital has a capacity of 18 beds and the nursing home has a 120 bed capacity.