Bamberg County Memorial Hospital Board
Written by Jerry E. Halmon   

After closing its doors on Monday, April 30th, and filing for Chapter 9 Bankruptcy, some of the business of the closed former Bamberg County Memorial Hospital still must be taken care of. On Tuesday evening, Bamberg County Hospital Board of Trustees members met in the administrative office building of the former hospital and agreed to pay Bankruptcy Attorney Stan McGuffin of Columbia, South Carolina-based Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd P.A., $25,000, before the end of the year as a portion of the $39,389, in legal fees owed by the BCMH.

It was stated that the total amount of outstanding fees owed to the law firm by Bamberg and Barnwell County Hospitals together amounted to $59,092. It was also noted in the discussion of paying a portion of the bankruptcy fees that attorneys are typically paid before the creditors, and the $25,000 paid to the law firm, “wouldn’t affect the Bankruptcy in anyway.” The former Bamberg County Hospital presently has $180,000 (with a portion coming from a recent Medicaid distribution) in its checking account, which was more than adequate to cover the fee.

In other matters related to finances, it was reported the hospital was able to get two of its utility bills lowered by the Bamberg Board of Public Works. The hospital building had its utility bill lowered from $6,100 to $1,800 and the administrative office building had its bill lowered from $1,299 to $395.

According to Bamberg Board of Public Works Manager, Will Martin, BPW was able to reduce the hospital's utility fees because there is no longer a large demand at the hospital. "The hospital is now paying a combined rate because of the reduction of their demand," said Martin.

In other business:

Hospital board members approved the sale of some old x-ray film to a Mississippi-based company by the name of Silver Lining Company, who submitted the best bid out of three offers. The company, which will harvest the film for the Silver content in it, will pay the hospital $3,500 or .75 cents to $1.00 per pound of film. The company will store and maintain the film at no charge to the hospital and will leave films of mammograms in place at the hospital for patients to use when needed.

“This is a common practice,” hospital board chair Dr. Danette McAlhaney said, adding, “the Regional Medical Center in Orangeburg and Barnwell County Hospital are doing the same thing. We are converting film to cash that will be put in the general fund,” Dr. McAlhaney said.

Also during the meeting, board members discussed the ownership of two trailers on the hospital campus that contained emergency preparedness items. It was noted that a smaller trailer at the hospital belonged to the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). And that the ownership of a larger trailer (registered to the Bamberg County Memorial Hospital) would have to be determined by the Bankruptcy Judge.