Hospital Authority table purchase of medical equipment
July 2, 2021
With the June 30 deadline looming for spending HHS stimulus money, the Alva Hospital Authority (AHA) held a special meeting Monday noon to consider an equipment purchase. The AHA barely had a quorum with Chairman Jason Gaisford and members Dr. Ken Brown, Jay Randals and Greg Bowman present. Board member Kim Baugh listened in by phone but could not vote. Share Medical CEO Kandice Allen was also on the phone to listen.
On the agenda was discussion and action on the purchase of a laparoscopic advanced imaging platform and equipment from Stryker. This equipment lists at $329,333.97 but some discounts and a rebate brought the total cost down to $137,515.79. A quote from Authorized Acquisitions LLC was higher.
Gaisford said there were two concerns about the purchase. Equipment information had just arrived so there had been no time to study it. Also, CFO Chris Lauderdale had been in communication with the Fairview Hospital that raised concern about whether or not the purchase would be eligible for reimbursement through the HHS funds. Hospital auditors are advising caution on such purchases. If the AHA board decided to make the purchase, and it was not reimbursable, the hospital would be stuck with paying for the equipment.
Randals made a motion to table the agenda item, seconded by Brown, and it was approved unanimously.
Assistant CFO Steve Knox has been active in deciphering the constantly changing guidance on what expenses are reimbursable from stimulus funds. HHS allocated $3,473,060.27 to the hospital. Knox presented figures showing which expenditures have been turned in as reimbursable. As of Monday, the hospital had $313,099.81 left.
Knox said most administrative wages have not been allocated toward HHS reimbursement. As an example, he has spent most of his time working on allocating and tracking stimulus funds. Much of his time can be written off for reimbursement. Whatever cannot be written off in this way will be returned.
Bowman, who is new to the AHA board, asked for some background on the HHS stimulus funds. Knox said the money just showed up in their account last year. Eventually, they were given guidelines for spending it. However, Lauderdale pointed out, those guidelines have been changed multiple times.