HCPHA finances addressed

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 12, 2005

WINTON – The Hertford-Gates Health District shouldn’t cost either county more money.

That was the message sent to the Hertford County Public Health Authority (HCPHA) April 4 at the regular meeting of the Hertford County Board of Commissioners.

Peter Molleur, the finance manager for HCPHA, appeared before the Board on behalf of Director Curtis Dickson.

Molleur presented information regarding the financial status of the Hertford-Gates Health District at the request of the Commissioners.

During his update, Molleur indicated the HCPHA Board wanted a change in the original agreement between Hertford and Gates counties regarding the finances of the District Heath Authority, an organization that ceased operations in June of last year after both counties decided to proceed in a different direction.

He said the health board wanted the HCPHA to assume the responsibility of keeping financial records for the District and as such they would keep all incoming funds and pay all expected bills of the District. He added that the two counties would be responsible, at a rate of two-thirds for Hertford County and one-third for Gates County, for any &uot;unforeseen&uot; expenses.

Commission Chairman DuPont Davis asked what those unforeseen expenses would be.

Molleur said, &uot;I can’t foresee anything that you would have to pay.&uot;

He said the county had paid a settlement with Medicare and would be expected to do so again, if for some reason one was demanded.

&uot;The Public Health Authority is not buying gap insurance to cover this period?&uot; asked Interim County Manager John Ed Whitehurst.

Molleur said the insurance carrier the authority used had advised against it because they saw no real fear of any expenses.

&uot;That’s why they have insurance,&uot; Whitehurst said. &uot;I recommend that you recommend to your Board purchasing gap insurance that would relive both counties. I think that protection would help and would be a wise decision.&uot;

Molleur said the decision wasn’t his, but he would take the recommendation back to the health board.

&uot;You need to cover yourself with these unforeseen events instead of looking to the county,&uot; Whitehurst said. &uot;If they don’t want to purchase the insurance, perhaps the county should take back some of the funds we released to cover it.&uot;

Commissioner Johnnie Ray Farmer said he was curious about another expense that was discussed. He wanted to know the status of the unemployment dollars that were in the district’s budget.

&uot;The money is still on the books,&uot; Molleur said. &uot;We have not received any bills for unemployment for the past two quarters.&uot;

Farmer asked, &uot;So it is on the books, but it is not really there?&uot;

Molleur said that was correct.

Davis and Whitehurst then suggested Molleur discuss the insurance with the health board.

In an interview after the meeting, Whitehurst explained what gap insurance is and what role it would play.

&uot;Basically, the Hertford-Gates Health District is now defunct, but it is still functioning financially and as such, they are liable for anything from the past that arises,&uot; he said. &uot;Basically the insurance we’re talking about would cover the gap between when the District ceased to operate and when it ceases to exist.&uot;