VALDOSTA — Interim Chief Executive Officer Bill Forbes has been named CEO of South Georgia Medical Center.
At a special called meeting Wednesday afternoon, Sam Allen, chairman of the Hospital Authority of Valdosta and Lowndes County, asked the board to remove interim from Forbes' title. The board unanimously accepted the change.
The change in status does not affect the hospital's current search for a new CEO, Allen said. Forbes was appointed interim in August 2018 after the departure of former CEO C. Ross Berry.
Allen said the change is necessary to help Forbes do the daily business of the hospital while the search for a permanent CEO continues.
Forbes is not in the running to be SGMC's permanent CEO.
"The main purpose (of the change) is that an interim has to be for a short period of time or it begins to lose its power," Allen said. "For an organization our size, in order to move forward with a lot of negotiations, a lot of people don't want to talk to somebody who has a title of interim.
"They want to talk to somebody who is charge, and he is in charge," Allen said.
The special called meeting included a financial audit of the hospital that was conducted by Draffin Tucker. The audit was presented during executive session and lasted about an hour.
Allen said the report indicates hospital services are up while collections are down.
"It showed that the hospital needs to make a more concerted effort to collect from patient and third parties and not from insurance agencies," Allen said.
Auditors found some patients receive their statements two to three months late, so the hospital is lacking collections for the 2018 Fiscal Year, he said.
"We've got to make sure that we are doing a better job of vetting those statements and getting them out as quickly as possible," Allen said.
Thomas Lynn is a government and education reporter for The Valdosta Daily Times. He can be reached at (229)244-3400 ext. 1256