Indigent care drags hospital’s annual income down

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By Tia Lynn Lecorchick staff writer

Morgan County Hospital Authority (MCHA) held its monthly meeting on July 31 to review the financial developments for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 budget-cycle, which ended on June 30. The hospital had an unaudited net income loss of $205,322 for the year, $64,192 more than anticipated, as MMH budgeted for a $141,130 net income loss.

Chief Financial Advisor Kyle Wilkinson was hopeful that with a few more “positive entries” and “favorable audit entries” that could be added during the official audit later this year in October, Morgan Memorial Hospital might be able to break even or finish with some positive net income.

Terry Evans, chairman of the MMHA, reminded the board that considering “the hole” the hospital started the year in, an approximate $1.8 million loss from indigent care, a loss of $205,322 is actually a huge improvement. “Getting that loss down to about $200,000 is really tremendous. It’s a great job,” said Evans. “We are actually doing great when considering that.” “The indigent care is such a big number that we feel, even with the loss, that we are doing a good job,” added Wilkinson.

Wilkinson also pointed out that MMH experienced vast unanticipated improvement at the end of FY 2014, noting that the hospital yielded significant positive net incomes in both May and June. “We actually had budgeted $20,000 in net income losses for both months, but ended with positive net incomes,” said Wilkinson. In May, MMH yielded $113,986.

In June, MMH yielded $46,354 in positive net income. “All things considered, we actually are finishing strong for the year,” said Wilkinson. Megan Morris, director of development and community relations, reported to the MMHA that the hospital doing extremely well in the area of customer satisfaction, according to the latest results from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey.

The HCAHPS results show that MMH is largely “exceeding patients’ expectations,” said Morris. According to the HCAHPS website, HCAHPS is a national, standardized, and publicly reported survey of patients’ perspectives of hospital care that compare the overall experiences of hospital patients locally, regionally and nationally. Morris highlighted that 80 percent of the patients surveyed gave MMH a perfect score on responsiveness of hospital staff. “That is something to be really proud of,” said Morris, “We are performing above our patients expectations.”

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