According to a study of financial strength of these hospitals, Tyler Holmes Memorial Hospital and 15 other hospitals received a rank of "above the national average."
The study, which gathered data of from audited financial reports for 2009-2012,involves 25 hospitals in Mississippi that qualify as rural under the Office of Rural Health Policy's definition; are publically owned general medicine/surgical facilities; and are not leased or owned by another hospital. The study took into account the profitability, liquidity and capital structure as measurements. Facilities and solvency were also factors in the study.
"I want to emphasize that this report is not intended to predict failure, and its results should not be construed as doing so, nor is it intended, by itself, to make any claims about the reasons for a given hospital's financial performance," State Auditor Stacey Pickering said in a statement.
Tyler Holmes was third best in the state for financial strength, receiving a score, which is an average of the last four years, of 3.67. Only Neshoba County General Hospital and North Sunflower Medical Center in Sunflower County received a higher score.
As for the combined scores for Profitability, Liquidity, and Capital Structure (2009-2012), also known as the Aggregate Means Score, Tyler Holmes also ranked third with a score of 8.23, after Jasper County General Hospital and South Sunflower County Hospital.
"These hospitals all utilize public funds, and it is our obligation to make the best use of taxpayer dollars," Pickering said. "State and local leaders can use the report's findings to make hospital management decisions, and to change laws, policies, and regulations to better ensure that all residents have reasonable and close access to healthcare."
According to Tyler Holmes administrator Rosamond Tyler, as required each year by the county, the hospital gives the county an audit report, and Tyler said the study was done from these audits.
"I was tickled to death that we were number three," Tyler said.
Tyler explained that the hospital's debt ratios were weighed heavily in the study.
"A few years ago, we received a lot of Upper Payment Living money (the difference between the payment received from Medicaid and Medicare)," Tyler said. "We used that money to pay off all of our debt, so this hospital is debt-free. Other hospitals have debt that is taken into account."
Thanks to an Appalachian Regional Commission grant for more than $300,000, Tyler Holmes Memorial Hospital is receiving updates on the sewer lines. According to Tyler, the hospital was built in the early 1950s, and the sewer system used in the back side of the hospital has now become obsolete.
"We are replacing the current sewer pipes that are four inches with eight inch pipes for better drainage," Tyler said.
In addition, an access road was built on the north side of the hospital, leading to Alberta Drive, to allow transport trucks better access to the hospital and enjoy easier maneuvering behind the building.
Tyler said the construction agreement stated that the job would take 150 work days to complete, but due to all the spring rains, the project has been delayed.
"We are hoping we can finish by the end of June," Tyler said.
Tyler said the hospital continues to make improvements as needed to keep the hospital running smoothly and looking good.
In recent months, the hospital has added a new telemetry system to provide the nursing staff in monitoring patients remotely, new laminate flooring in the hallways, and dropped ceilings.
"We do a little when needed," Tyler said. "That way we can take money out of operations instead of taking out a loan."
Staff reports contributed to this story.