Typically an entry of "Hospital Update" is featured on the Booneville City Council’s agenda but was missing for January, hospital officials showed up anyway.

Because the hospital became a member of the Mercy family on Jan. 1, city officials were not anticipating hearing from hospital personnel. However, administrators C. David Hill and Stuart Lisko came to talk about the final audit report for fiscal year 2013 and the transition from being an independent hospital to part of the Mercy system.

The transition, Hill said, was 98 percent good, with the remaining 2 percent being minor "speed bumps."

"When you look at the breath of the transition, it was great," said Hill. "This wasn’t Mercy’s first rodeo, they’ve acquired other hospitals and they’ve got it down to a fine science.

"Their teams that came in, each and every one that came in has been extremely welcoming. We couldn’t ask for a better group."

Otherwise the biggest difference, Hill said, is in terms of symbols.

"The Mercy crosses are in the rooms and are throughout the hospital," said Hill.

As had previously been pledged, Hill said all employees remained with the hospital and all were grafted into the Mercy system at their current years of service.

Additionally, no employees suffered a pay cut, Hill added, and about 10 actually received pay increases because their salaries were not at the minimum established by Mercy.

"We did a side-by-side comparison of all benefits, between Booneville (Community Hospital) and Mercy, the Mercy benefits are better," said Hill. "Obviously, an independent hospital with less than 100 employees going out and buying health insurance versus a group with 39,000 employees that is self-insured, is much better."

Employees also pick up an employer match into 401k plans and a company funded retirement benefit, Hill said.

The audit, which Lisko addressed, showed a revenue decline of about $1.8 million from 2012, which resulted in an operating loss of about $635,000. With non-operating losses – mainly interest on bond payments – the final loss was $1,292,000 Lisko said.

Contributing to the loss, Lisko said, was the retirement of Dr. Bill Daniel and a decrease in census of 4.5 to 4.3 patients per day and an adjusted daily census, including outpatient from 14.5 to 13 per day.

According to an operating statement Lisko provided, over the first half of fiscal year 2014, the hospital also had a net loss of $123,790.