The Cumberland Valley Health District may be getting some financial relief.
During a district board meeting in Manchester on Thursday, Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Stephanie Mayfield announced a large payment for delinquent bills is imminent.
“I’ve been cleared to tell you this,” said Mayfield. “There is a letter that you’re going to receive and Kentucky Spirit is going to receive. You will note that the checks were made out to Kentucky Spirit and the respective health departments for the delinquent amount owed by Kentucky Spirit to you. I need you to contact Kentucky Spirit and ask them to endorse the checks so you can receive your payment immediately.”
Mayfield said checks have been issued from the state finance cabinet to Kentucky Spirit and the respective health departments for payments owed from November 2011 through February.
Mayfield was asked if the full amount of the delinquency, approximately $532,000, would be received.
“Checks were made out to Kentucky Spirit and the local health departments,” said Mayfield. “It looks like it’s $508,000.”
A board member pointed out they should not forget about the remaining $24,000 owed.
Cumberland Valley Health District Lynette Renner addressed recent employee furloughs.
According to Renner, furloughs cannot be ended at this time.
“The furloughs will be taken away when we start to get up to date on our accounts receivable,” said Renner. “If you’ve got a solution on how we get that $1,000,000 that’s owed overnight — it sounds like we’re could get this half a million rather quickly — that has been our problem, just with cash flow. If you know the money’s coming, they say that it’s coming, but it doesn’t come, our expenses don’t stop. Our payroll doesn’t stop. It gets to the point either you have the money or you don’t.”
A board member stated many employees were dissatisfied with the furloughs.
Renner said the furloughs were necessary to retain as many jobs as possible.
The board also heard questions from Harlan County employees, who participated in the meeting via Internet.
A Harlan employee asked why nurses from other counties could not be sent to Harlan when the need arises as they are when other counties are understaffed due to situations such as illness.
A member in attendance at the Manchester meeting said four or five hours of a work day would be spent driving if staff were sent to Harlan from one of the other counties in the district.
“When we are talking about reduced funding at the state level and at the federal level, and then we’ve had all these issues with Managed Care Organizations, it has affected our staff. Yes, there is pain that’s being felt in Harlan County,” said Renner.
Renner stated employees are also pulled from other counties.
“Currently, we have 26 staff people in Harlan. We have 23 in Clay County. We basically have 15 in Rockcastle and Jackson and we’re sharing staff,” said Renner. “There is no one that has been immune to this pain.”
According to Renner, these issues will not go away overnight.
The board did not address the possibility of Harlan County pulling out of the district.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510 or firstname.lastname@example.org