MMH brings in $44,000-plus despite negative projection
By Stephanie Johns
The Morgan County Hospital Authority heard some positive news during its November meeting: they had a net income of $44,616 out of a total hospital revenue of $1.2 million for October. They had budgeted a negative $24,298 for that month.
CFO Courtney Moore noted that supply costs, which are census-driven, were below budget by $19,000.
Treasurer Paul Courchaine said their numbers for October were good.
Courchaine noted that they had a rough start this year, but that their census numbers are back up in the 20s for November.
Moore went through the financial report and began by noting the census of 15 in September increased to 17 in October.
Salaries and wages were below budget by $25,000, she said, adding that education expenses fall into the “other” category, which is $24,000 above budget. Overall, the two balance each other out, she said.
“We’re bringing in new nurses and educating them,” she said. “This reduces overtime in the long run.”
A government-imposed rule will prompt a change from ICD-9 to ICD-10, which is the name of their coding system. She said that all of their coding is outsourced to ICD-10 experts.
As to their Quadax system, she said this is “a really, really good thing” because it allows the hospital to get cash in the door quickly.
According to the company’s website, Qaudax, Inc. offers “healthcare revenue cycle solutions” to “increase cash flow, maximize productivity, and reduce dependence on paper processing.”
Sue Jasnau, controller, made a presentation on behalf of Patient Financial Services (PFS). She said they have two departments in PFS: Admissions and Billing. She spoke about personnel, responsibilities and tools.
At the end of her presentation, Chairman Terry Evans asked Jasnau if they receive many appeals to their billing. She replied not many. A claim may be denied because a pre-certification number did not make it to the claim. Other times the hospital may be asked for medical records to support a claim of medical necessity.
When it comes to patients questioning their bills, Jasnau said Megan Morris, director of Development and Community Relations, could better answer that.
Morris explained that she will speak with the billing or clinical staff to make sure they have documentation for charges. She added that they have never had a significant error.
Evans then asked about the charge to use HomeTown Health, which is $6,000 annually. Moore said the charge primarily pays for the information resource.
Morris later explained that HomeTown Health is a network of rural hospitals that offers educational opportunities as well as lobbies on behalf of its members.
Beth O’Neill, chief nursing officer, added that nurses also take advantage of classes offered by HomeTown Health.
Printed in the December 6, 2012 edition