Southerland Tours Campbellton-Graceville Hospital

GRACEVILLE-- The Campbellton-Graceville Hospital is still trying to dig itself out of a $1 million hole.

Tuesday afternoon, Congressman Steve Southerland toured the facility and recommended some cost saving solutions. The new hospital administrator is hoping this will help push the hospital's finances into the green.

HD Cannington took over as hospital administrator four weeks ago. Since then he's been trying to understand how the hospital dug itself such a huge financial hole.

"With a beautiful office building next door that cost a million dollars and we still have about six hundred thousand on that and we also owe money to Medicare for the fiscal year 2013 cost report, but we don't have that much vendor debt," hospital administrator HD Cannington said.

Medicare overpaid the hospital, and is now demanding it repay that money. Cannington says they haven't made a dent in that debt, or the money they owe to vendors.

Board members are hopeful Congressman Steve Southerland will help the hospital in it's financial battle.

"On a timeline that is so crunched, is there anything you can do financially within congress in terms of medicare payments?"

"Well what we're doing is we're working with CMS to make sure that the reimbursements turn over in a hurry," Senator Steve Southerland, (R) Florida, said.

Southerland toured the facility Tuesday before sitting down with administrators and discussing possible cost cutting solutions.

"Well he suggested, of course, which we already knew that we need to look outside the box for other ways, other things that we could do," hosptial board chair Linda Wheatley said.

One of those suggestions is inviting the public into the building for community functions like Bible study.

While he's no longer worried about the hospital closing its doors, Cannington says they still have a long way to go.

He's already invited Steve Southerland back in a couple months.