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Signs of progress

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Adil Ameer came to Carthage a little less than 18 months ago to guide the Carthage Area Hospital out of a fiscal morass. He is making progress.

When he arrived the hospital was coping with a billing system which was in disarray, clinics in communities which were incapable of supporting them, and a series of regulatory challenges that would dishearten even the boldest thinker.

Mr. Ameer, the interim chief executive officer, is working his way through the issues. The billing system is fixed, cash flows have improved, the newly constructed Meadowbrook Terrace assisted living center has opened, and debt reduced as Mr. Ameer sought and received funds from the state Healthcare Efficiency and Affordability Law (HEAL).

In spite of clinic consolidations, 480 people work at the facility. And the hospital is beginning to expand, adding a sleep clinic in mid-June and committing to installation of a computer tomography scanner and magnetic resonance imaging equipment. It is looking at adding bariatric surgery to its services.

It is a challenge to provide hospital services in today’s uncertain medical environment. Coping with a reform of the nation’s medical system, a weak economy which reduces the ability of beneficiaries of medical care to pay for the services required and an aging population especially impacts small hospitals. The Carthage community and all of eastern Jefferson County has benefited from the efforts of Mr. Ameer to rejuvenate the Carthage Area Hospital. The task is far from over, but today there is more good news than bad.

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