By ABBY SOUZA
Tuolumne General Hospital is on the right path, according to the hospital's board of trustees.
That is what board Chairman Jason Reed told Tuolumne County supervisors yesterday.
Every year since 1995, the trustees have given a report to the county board that notes the county-owned hospital's highs and lows over the previous year.
The success list includes the perfect score TGH's Long Term Care unit received from the state in April.
"That's an unheard-of accomplishment," Reed told county supervisors.
He also listed business office improvements as a success. Reed said the effort to clean up old patient accounts has helped increase cash flow to the hospital. The number of days a hospital bill stays open has dropped from an average of 78 to fewer than 60.
The hospital's financial recovery plan was also listed among the successes.
"We're very pleased on the progress of the 10 identified goals," Reed said of ideas TGH outlined in the plan to raise revenue or lower costs.
"But we've certainly had our share of disappointments," Reed said.
The use of temporary doctors to fill in when the hospital staff is low was one of those, Reed said. But Reed reported the two surgeons who left TGH in August have agreed to return to work there, which would cut down on the need for the temporary doctors.
"That seems to have turned around, and we're pleased about that," Reed said.
Another disappointment to TGH trustees was the turnover in doctors at the Mother Lode Medical Center and the primary care clinic.
The basement flood TGH experienced last November also was listed as a disappointment because "it absorbed so much of our staff's time," Reed said.
The hospital's dire financial situation was not listed as a disappointment in the report. Over the past six years, TGH has borrowed more than $6 million from the county's general fund and received $11 million in cash infusions from the county.
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