By Justin Kree
MONAHANS - In the last several years, Ward County Memorial Hospital has asked county officials for more money just to keep the hospital operating. With a new system in place, the hospital now has a rainy day fund.
"Every year they've had to go back to ask for more money. This year, we had a surplus of $900,000," Ward County Memorial Hospital CEO, Leticia Rodriguez, said.
Rodriguez became the head of command last January. Rodriguez came in knowing tough changes had to be made to keep the hospital competitive. The first step was to bring in an outside company to look at the spending of the hospital and they had to reduce the workforce to save some money.
"We hunkered down and implemented a collections policy and emergency medical screening. We brought in new staff and educated the ones we currently have, a new way on how to get those dollars in the door," Rodriguez said.
The hospital gains revenue through their swing bed program which allows patients to finish treatment in Monahans.
"Some patients go to Odessa or Midland or outside of the area for hip surgery or knee replacement. They essentially can come back home and we rehab them back to their normal self," Rodriguez said.
The extra funds will be used for upgrades around the hospital. Rodriguez feels 2015 will be just as successful.