The Booneville City Council was told last week Booneville Community Hospital officials are still in discussion with officials from Mercy Hospital but that a proposal may not be ready for the council until its September or October meetings.

"We’ve had their officials come visit on numerous occasions. Their CEO visited with our board last week and gave his vision on what he thought this would look like," said BCH chief executive officer C. David Hill.

Hill said he likes the vision.

"It was what we want it to look like. Using their resources to bring in additional physicians and services that we don’t have, and we don’t have those resources to recruit," said Hill. "And to build the hospital here and grow. Mercy sees this as a great opportunity for us and for them.

"We’re attracted to that. They’re a $4 billion a year company and they’ve got revenue and resources that we don’t have."

Any contractual agreement on Mercy managing the hospital would grant BCH access to those resources immediately, but the actual management of the facility would not begin until early 2014, with Mercy assuming responsibility for profit and loss at that point.

Regarding the financial position of the hospital, chief financial officer Stuart Lisko provided an operating statement for July which revealed the hospital showed a profit of just over $17,000 for the first month of the fiscal year.

The hospital actually had a net operating gain of over $71,000 but the monthly payment on the facility erased that and more before the addition of sales tax collections receipts brought the final number back into the black.

Still it was a far cry from the previous fiscal year.

Lisko did not have final numbers for the 2013 fiscal year that ended on June 30. During the July meeting Lisko said he expected June to be another losing month, on top of over a $1.5 million loss for the fiscal year.

Hill also said there has been a delay, due to acquiring Medicare and Medicade provider numbers, in one doctor coming to work for the clinic on a part-time basis but that Dr. S.A. Ahmed would be returning to the hospital this week.

"As we build up his surgical practice he will see primary care patients in the clinic and start endoscopes and some surgery in the very near future," Hill said of Ahmed.