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Local

Hospital cuts ties to Mercy

Decline in revenue concerns board

MORRISON – Morrison Community Hospital on Wednesday ended its long relationship with its management contractor.

After a closed session, the hospital's board of trustees unanimously voted against renewing its contract with Mercy Medical Center in Clinton, which has managed the hospital for more than two decades.

In an interview after the meeting, board Chairman Don Beswick said the hospital had seen a decline in revenue in the last year.

"Historically, we've had better years," he said. "Our team is having to cut costs to bring more to the bottom line."

The board would explore opportunities to link up with other providers, he said.

In a statement after the vote, Beswick said the board decided to end its relationship with Mercy after considering its financial statistics, committee reports, current leadership updates and closed session information.

"The change in the Morrison Community Hospital's management agreement will afford the hospital the opportunity to explore additional revenue streams, providers, IT services, patient services, alliances, associations and cost savings beneficial to the future [of the hospital]," he said.

Mercy's current contract officially ends June 30, the last day of the hospital's fiscal year. As a practical matter, the relationship is already over. No one from Mercy remains at the hospital, officials said.

Recently, Kent Jorgensen, the hospital's CEO since June 2011, left his position, replaced by interim CEO Pam Pfister. Jorgensen was with Mercy, while Pfister, who had been MCH's associate administrator, was a hospital employee.

Mercy appeared to have expected the board's decision. Last week, a Mercy spokeswoman said her organization wanted to ensure a "smooth transition" and wished the hospital well.

Mercy is a nonprofit hospital; MCH is public, with its board members appointed by the Whiteside County Board.

In 2012, the hospital received $11.9 million in revenue, nearly $900,000 of which came from local property taxes, according to the hospital's annual financial report filed with the state.

At a glance

Some facts about Morrison Community Hospital from 2012:

Full-time employees: 103

Part-time employees: 40

Total payroll: $5.4 million

Total spending: $11.6 million

Total revenue: $11.9 million, including $862,087 in property tax revenue

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