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Calhoun County Hospital downsizing

ARLINGTON, Ga. — The head of Calhoun County’s largest employer says it will have a reduction in force of 29 employees as Calhoun County Hospital works to cope with mounting financial challenges brought on by indigent patients and troubles with Medicaid and Medicare.

Earl Whiteley, CEO of Calhoun County Hospital, says that the amount the hospital spends on indigent care ballooned over the last four years. With the state and federal government unlikely to increase funding, the hospital is making some drastic decisions to remain operating.

“I like to say that the federal government can’t afford Medicare; the state can’t afford Medicaid; so they push all of the cost and responsibility onto the county commissions that run the hospitals,” Whiteley said. “We’ve seen a great increase in our indigent care over the last four years and with the Affordable Care Act set to kick in 2014, we don’t see things getting any better.”

According to Whiteley, Calhoun County paid $834,000 in indigent care for people who didn’t have insurance for the fiscal year that ended in March 2008. Last March, that number had grown to $1.8 million.

Whitely credits Calhoun County’s 18 percent unemployment rate, a lack of insured patients and slow and minimal reimbursement by the state and federal government for claims as the reason for the decision to downsize.

The hospital authority has already sold its assisted living facility in Edison and is negotiating terms of sale for its nursing home in Edison, with the hope of using the proceeds to pay down an operating loan that remains outstanding.

“Hopefully we can get enough to pay down that loan and make a dent in some of the other debts we have,” Whiteley said.

Comments

daisymae 1 year, 11 months ago

How much is the CEO making ? I have seen some of their numbers, there should be an audit. A Forensic Audit.

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agirl_25 1 year, 11 months ago

Not just "how much is he making" but "what are the perks too?" Someone long ago should have stepped in and done an audit of the place.....I have heard it is wreck. The story starts out "Officials at Calhoun County......".....but then just quotes the CEO.....who are some of the others...let's hear from them.....OK? Seems to me a RIF of 29 employees is an awful lot!!! How many do you have working there? Isn't it kind of a small rural hosptial anyway? What will you have left....a bare bones staff?

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Roundman 1 year, 11 months ago

agirl-25 -- I can tell you where our money has gone - 108 million dollars looking after sorry a$$ jobless, welfare receiving bunch of do-nothings we have her. If you really need a hospital, we have to go to another area or state. They are breaking us (the county) -- they want "free everything" - And it ain't gonna get no better -- we ain't seen nothing yet!!!!!!!

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agirl_25 1 year, 11 months ago

There is always a large group of sorry a$$ do nothings...I and my family: brother, 2 sisters, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, daughter, daughter-in-law, are now or have been part of the medical profession, from a surgeon, to ER docs, to a hospital CEO, to nurses, all know how frustrating it can be. Don't forget that you may have someone at the helm of the ship doing a pizzpoor job too..ever think of that? Yes, I know it isn't going to get any better, and I know, as you say, we "ain't seen nothing yet" and let me borrow another line from an old movie.."hang on, you may be in for a bumpy ride".......well someone may, Cowboy.

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daisymae 1 year, 11 months ago

I would be willing to bet that the one's getting laid off are the actual workers...none of the upper level employees are loosing their jobs. If they would start at the top and work their way down things would be better.

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MisterEd 1 year, 11 months ago

I guess you two missed the part about the 18% unemployment, huge indigent care costs, and the fact that Odummycare is going to make matters worse very soon. With Albany and Dothan about an hour away, not to mention Bainbridge and Colquitt with smaller but adequate facilities, why is this shocking?

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Thurman 1 year, 11 months ago

Can we say "Phoebe Calhoun" ?

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agirl_25 1 year, 11 months ago

They got as close as one of the doctor's clinics once, I am told.....don't know what happened. Someone told me it closed.

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Cartman 1 year, 11 months ago

Like you, I'm waiting until the other shoe drops as well. I was thinking they are just trying to find a way to announce it that doesn't make it so obvious.

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