DMHS hears status update on Baptist Health merger


The Drew Memorial Health Systems Board of Directors held their monthly meeting on Monday, May 22, with all members except Lagarrian Cross and Robin McClendon in attendance. Chairman Mike Akin heard motions to approve credentials and previous minutes before asking DMHS Chief Executive Officer Scott Barrilleaux to give an update on the status of the merger with Baptist Health.

Barrilleaux stated that conversations between DMHS and Baptist are continuing, but noted that some of the details of the merger plan have changed. The initial merger date of July 1 has been pushed back to December 3.  DMHS will instead enter into a management agreement with Baptist that will begin on July 1 and be in effect until the December 3 merger date. Baptist would take full financial responsibility at the signing of the management agreement. This plan will also allow Baptist time to implement their Electronic Medical Records System so that everything would be in place and ready to go on the December 3 merger date. Baptist feels that with their system in place DMHS would see tremendous improvement in the revenue cycle process, which has been and continues to be an issue. The attorney for DMHS is working with the attorney for Baptist to draw up the paper work for the management agreement with hopes of having something to present at the June meeting. Board member Carl Lucky made a motion to move forward with this plan, with a second from Wayne Owen.  The motion passed unanimously.

Chief Financial Officer, Melodie Colwell, stated that the month of April saw an overall cash increase of just under $300,000 while giving the financial report. The month of April saw a net loss of $195,000 which is considerably less than the $1.7 million that was lost last April. Colwell also indicated that there is currently not a budget, as it has been hard to set a budget with so many unknown variables at play.

Barrilleaux stated in his CEO’s report that the hospital is trying to recruit another general surgeon.  The hospital is also working with Mainline Health to try to extend OB coverage.