Hospital moves to extend accounting contract

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The Eureka Springs Hospital Commission met Tuesday, Nov. 10, for two back-to-back special meetings to discuss the newly announced resignation of the current Chief Financial Officer Scott Stone, and consider a large purchase for the security of hospital-controlled substance pharmaceuticals. 

Discussing the first topic, in 2019 Stone Financial and Tax Center, PLLC, held a business associate agreement with Eureka Springs Hospital, LLC, to serve as an outsourced CFO for the monthly fee of $6,500.

On June 3, 2019 then Interim-CEO Vickie Andert signed an acknowledgement of this agreement, but the agreement was not discussed or provided to the public through a commission meeting. The agreement was accessed through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The same agreement was utilized throughout the hospital’s shift from leasor to owner/operator on Feb. 1 and the services continued on the basis of the original agreement until August 3, 2020.

On this date commission Chair John House signed and acknowledged an agreement with Stone Financial that reiterated the previous outsourced CFO services to the hospital with the same monthly service fee, but the agreement was backdated for the term of Feb. 1, 2020 through Dec. 31, 2020. 

In this agreement either party can give a 30-day notice of cancellation.

At the Tuesday night meeting House did not recall signing the August 2020 acknowledgement and said that as far as he knew there was no current contract with Stone Financial. None of the commissioners produced the agreement but commissioners Kent Turner and Tyson Burden said they had seen it and understood that it expired at year’s end.

House said that Scott Stone has sold his business and no longer lives in Arkansas. Stone had given his termination notice, but requested that the individual buying his business, Brent A. Seay of The Seay Firm CPAs, PLLC, continue the same services with the hospital.

Seay provided the commission with his proposal for a two-year engagement of part-time CFO services to be accepted by Chair John House, but House did not agree.

Burden said he believed the shift would be agreeable, but House reminded commissioners that such services are subject to a Request for Proposal.

Commissioner Jean Reed said that Seay has no healthcare or hospital CFO experience, but commissioners said that should be a decision that the CEO is afforded.

However, the hospital is currently advertising to fill the vacant CEO position and did not discuss the possibility of utilizing the Interim-CEO.

The commission voted unanimously to begin the discussion with Stone Financial to extend the contract beyond December 31, 2020 for an additional 60 days.

Commissioners also unanimously voted to approve $55,000 to provide a security solution upgrade with Imprivata systems for safety and tracking of prescribed controlled substances within the hospital. I.T. Director Drew Wood, who requested the upgrade in accordance with a federal mandate, stated the new upgrade would provide protection measures which include fingerprint authentication and door lock tracking. 

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