City finalizes hospital funding

Published 7:34 pm Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Troy City Council met Wednesday to finalize funding agreements with the purchase of Troy Regional Medical Center.

While the purchase has already been agreed upon, the council had to make decisions as to how exactly hospital money would flow within the city channels.

“The city was placed into the position we needed to take over operations of the hospital, and in that process additional operating funds were required to operate,” said Council President Johnny Witherington. “If municipal funds are going to be used, then we’ve got to account for those funds.”

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Thus, the council met Wednesday to determine just how that accountability process would take place and finalized a funding agreement to satisfy the bank, the health care authority and the city.

Essentially, the agreement works out how the city and its established Health Care Authority, the entity that owns TRMC, will handle financials of the hospital.

The city of Troy is the owner of the hospital, but the Health Care Authority is its appointed entity through which that ownership takes place.

Thus, determining who takes in that money and how it is distributed into the hospital is what the council did Wednesday.

“The city levied a sales tax, and it was the only revenue source that would provide sufficient funds, at least for the immediate future to fund the operations of the hospital,” Witherington said. “So in doing so, we had to work with our attorneys and our accountant to determine standards by which that money will flow…so proper accounting for each dime will be made.”

Witherington said that accounting will be made through the city of Troy and then channeled through the authority to the hospital, as hospital administrators make requests for funds.

Eventually, Witherington said he hopes the hospital is generating money on its own.

What the agreement will also do is ensure a level of support between the city of Troy and the authority.

Attorney John Weiss, who works with the city, said the agreement ensures that as the Health Care Authority issues a $6 million line of operating credit, which has already met approval, today, the city will be in support of that agreement.

“I think it protects the city’s interest as they need to be protected,” said Councilman Jason Reeves.

Also in the meeting, the council appointed Doug Patterson as the fifth member of the health care authority.