Singing River Health System 2016 Budget

Singing River Health System could turn a profit for the first time in more than three years. Its leaders are asking the county to contribute money to help fund its embattled pension plan.
Singing River Health System leaders presented their proposed budget for 2016 to supervisors at the meeting. CEO Kevin Holland said, “We provide a tremendous level of unfunded care every year and we basically are asking for the county’s help to help us offset some of that cost.”
SRHS leaders asked the county for 1.8 to 2 million dollars a year, hoping to use part of that money to contribute toward the system’s under-funded retiree pension plan. “The 88 percent pension plan we put forward about three or four months ago, contemplated us putting $1.2 million per year for the next four years. $3 million for the next four years after that and then $4.5 million starting in 2024,” said Holland.
The 88 percent pension plan plus an additional 1.8 to 2 million dollars from the county would increase the plan to the mid-90s, but retirees say that’s not enough. Retiree Kitty Aguilar said, “We still want 100 percent and if they are talking 95 percent now, I believe they can do a little bit better. I don’t think that’s the final number.”
District 2 Supervisor Melton Harris said, “It’s going to be very difficult to say that we will embrace the idea of contributing that money without a tax increase. It may require putting off some capital projects. So, we will look and discuss that issue then make a decision on it.”
At the moment, Singing River Health System’s legal fees are between 150 and 200 thousand dollars a month.

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