Galloway begins audit of Putnam County hospital

The state auditor's office has begun an audit of Putnam County Memorial Hospital (Photo: KTVO)

Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway has begun a separate audit of Putnam County Memorial Hospital, as her office promised last week.

Galloway’s office said after completing a routine report on Putnam County as a whole that the separate hospital audit was initiated because of “concerning” findings in the facility’s financials.

The hospital has been on life support for nearly a year after the abrupt departure of CEO and COO Cindy and Jerry Cummings. The husband-and-wife team’s resignation was the first of several dominoes that fell when the precarious state of the hospital’s financial situation could no longer be misinterpreted -- leading to the closing of the psychiatric ward, dozens of jobs lost and, just this month, the purchase of the hospital’s operations by a company known for resuscitating debt-ridden health facilities.

That, board president Howard Luscan told KTVO, will hopefully stabilize the facility going forward, and keep the hospital open for the residents of Putnam County.

“Missourians living in rural communities often depend on their county hospitals to provide emergency treatment and, at times, life-saving support,” Galloway said in a statement. “In some parts of the state, a county hospital might be the only place in the county that offers emergency medical treatment, with the next closest facilities being an hour or more away. These facilities are critical to the communities they serve, but they often face severe challenges associated with staffing and funding needs.”

Galloway’s office said the audit is meant to offer solutions to key problems facing hospitals’ financials.

Two other Missouri hospitals -- Ray County Memorial Hospital in Richmond and Pemiscot County Memorial Hospital in Hayti -- will also be audited at a later date.

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