FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. – A rural hospital in Tennessee appears to be in turmoil. From money trouble to a CEO who’s now out of a job, leaders at Lincoln Health System are looking for ways to overcome millions of dollars in revenue losses.
Neither Lincoln Health’s board of trustees nor any Lincoln County commissioners were willing to explain on camera to WHNT News 19 the hospital’s situation.
In a Tuesday afternoon meeting, Lincoln Health’s board of trustees got the diagnosis as to how the Fayetteville hospital is doing.
WHNT News 19 sat in on the meeting, but members wouldn’t allow any cameras inside.
Right now, leaders at Lincoln Health are trying to come up with some ways to make up for a big loss in revenue. Finance officer Bob Lonis told the board that ER visits are down, along with lab work and CT scans. He says those three departments drove a loss in revenue of more than $8.4 million last year.
Last week, Dr. Theresa Morrison was on the agenda to give a hospital update to the county commission. Dr. Morrison ended up skipping the meeting and WHNT News 19 was told that was immediately after the hospital board fired CEO Candie Starr.
Aside from looking for a new CEO, right now, Lincoln Health has a number of high-profile vacant positions, including an ER medical director, an ICU emergency department nursing director and they no longer have an OB/GYN. That’s one position the board says they may not fill.
Aside from a drop in hospital visits, Lincoln Health reduced its number of long-term care beds from 240 to 168.
Lonis says they got the blessing from Tennessee’s attorney general to sell at least one vacant property at auction. It’s unclear how much that could bring in.
Board members say they’re highly dependent on seeking more funding from the state.
Lincoln Health board members today didn’t give a reason for Starr’s departure, other than to say they’re now in the hiring process for a new CEO.
Lonis says financial statements presented at the meeting are preliminary end-of-year statements. Auditors are going over them now in time to have them closed by the end of the week as required by the state.