CEO Joe Hammond started with the bad news, while emphasizing there were some good financial trends to report.
"The net loss for the year is $1,319,338." said Hammond.
The loss was $83,827 more than the previous year, when the total deficit was $1,255,511.
On the bright side, the hospital took in considerably more revenue than the year before.
"Our total revenue for the year was up approximately $600,000 from last year," said Hammond.
The big negative on the fiscal year was the North Arkansas Family Clinic. The remodeled clinic, with two new doctors, Dr. Madhulika Krish and Dr. Ahmad Saab, opened in August of 2010. The clinic closed after about six months, because the hospital could not afford to pay the doctors and clinic staff, while the clinic worked to build up a patient base.
"During the life of the North Arkansas Family Clinic, we had $186,940 in gross revenue (generated by seeing and treating patients)," Hammond explained.
"The total for that payroll during the time that it (the clinic) was in operation was $443,015," said Hammond. "With that gross dollar amount of $186,940...it would show a loss of $256,076."
Hammond acknowledged, however, that the clinic loss was actually much higher because the hospital probably collected only about 40 percent of the $186,940 it billed to patients and insurance companies.
Hammond pointed out that last December, the only month the hospital showed a profit, was the month Dr. Krish and Dr. Saab "were hitting their full stride and making a significant contribution to the overall operation of the hospital."
The clinic is now leased by Dr. Daniel Valach, a Mountain Home physician.
Despite the failed clinic project, Hammond and the board have discussed adding other new services to attract new patients. New services are seen as the key to bringing in badly needed revenue to the hospital.
Two bright spots on the fiscal year financial report illustrate that.
"We wanted to see better utilization in the swing bed program," said Hammond. "Last year (2009-2010), we had $689,940 in swing bed charges. This year (2010-2011), we had $907,360 (in swing bed revenue), so that's been a very effective program for us.
Last fiscal year, the hospital began an ultrasound program and it has attracted patients, generating $451,793 in gross revenue, in its first year.
At the June board meeting, Hammond suggested other new services the hospital could provide are surgery services, a home health program, hospice care and medical equipment.
The past fiscal year figures are hospital estimates. Auditors were at the hospital in late July and their official report is expected in September.
A discussion of current finances again showed the difficulties a small hospital faces, as it struggles to break even or make a profit.
June has been a strong month for emergency room and in patient services.
According to Hammond, $80,000 in new patient services has yet to be billed. $872,000 in services is awaiting diagnosis, $1,165,000 is ready to be sent out and the hospital is awaiting payment on $917,867.
"Now, the insurance is the same as cash in most instances, isn't it?" asked board member Danny Perryman, trying to clarify that, if the hospital bills $900,000, that is what it collects.
|"Commercial insurance is generally 60 to 70 percent cash. Medicaid and Medicare is about, probably, 35 to 45 percent," Hammond replied. "What we get paid, there's an automatic discount built in."|
"That 900 and some thousand dollars (that we're due), how many dollars is that (will be received), would you say?" asked Perryman.
"I'm going to say somewhere between $380 and $410, 000."
"Really," a surprised Perryman replied.
"We only collect 40% (of billed insurance) on average," said Hammond. "When you figure we are probably 80-81 percent Medicare in all of our business, we only get a small fraction."
The new fiscal year budget the board has approved seeks a major reduction in salaries, and hopes to cut the hospital's loss to $766,961, a half a million dollar improvement over last fiscal year.
In other business, the board approved a request to declare a list of heating and air conditioning units, kitchen appliances and other items as "surplus property."
The hospital is moving ahead with plans to renovate its inpatient wing and funds raised through the sale of surplus items will help buy paint and other needed supplies.
The board was told several hospital improvements funded by a state energy grant are almost finished. A new section of roof is installed, new energy efficient appliances are up and running in the kitchen, work to install energy saving lighting is 75 percent complete and work to replace three large heating and air conditioning units on the roof is underway.
Board president Jerry Estes obtained approval to give two of the old hvac units to the city of Salem.
"We have discussed donating those to the city, so that they could use them to put air conditioning in the Civic Center," said Estes. "It would be a good gesture on our part."
While the hospital is donating the units, the city and fair board will be responsible for moving them to the fairgrounds and paying the cost of installation at the Civic Center.
One of the Hospital Foundation's big fundraisers is quickly approaching.
The foundation will host its annual golf tournament on Saturday, August 13, at the Turkey Mountain Golf Course at Horseshoe Bend.
Teams can still sign up by contacting the pro shop at 870-670-5252. The cost is $120 for a three person team.
Sponsorships are also available at $100 per hole. Contact Trena Spears at 371-0848 for information.
All proceeds will go to support the hospital through the Hospital Foundation
The Hospital Board's next meeting will be held on August 29 at 7 p.m. Meetings are in the hospital conference room and are open to the public.