Close to Closure

As the threat of the doors closing at Bowie Memorial Hospital, officials are taking a close look at their finances.

On Thursday afternoon, committee members took a look at everything from their monthly costs, to next year's budget.

“In each department, we look for opportunities to enhance revenue and cut expenses,” Lynn Heller, the Interim CEO of Bowie Memorial said.

They were taking a look to see if there have been any improvements from last month and this time last year.  While there were improvements is some areas, like department expenses, the long term debt was still present nearing $2-million.

“There's different things that we can tweak that we're doing to enhance our revenue and cut expenses some, but we're working on those things,” he said.

It is work that could take weeks or months.  One thing Heller said they are working on is informing the public about what would happen if the hospital was forced to close its doors for good.

“There's a lot of things that happen if your local hospital closes and one of the first things is your workers compensation rates go up to your local business people,” Heller said.

However, it is all about education.  He said in the coming weeks they will be gathering statistics to show exactly what the worst case scenario would be.

“It is our job to educate the public,” he said, “Give them the facts so they can vote, you know, how they're, how they want to vote,”

Of course, he wants them to vote in favor of the hospital district, but they will just have to wait and see.

“The people in Bowie are logical people,” Heller said, “When you give them the logical reason why, then they will respond.”

If the hospital closes, officials said it will impact more than just the patients.  150 employees would lose their jobs and it is possible other jobs in the community could be at risk.

Officials are working to get the proposed property tax on the November ballot.  It would designate it as a medical district and would mean an almost 20-cent jump for residents per $100 value if passed.

, Newschannel 6