PMH Continues To Make Progress On Bottom Line
Marlinton, WV – Chad Carpenter, Chief Financial Officer for Pocahontas Memorial Hospital, says the hospital reported a loss of $39,000.00 for the month of July with about 1 million in revenue. He went over the breakdown of finances during the monthly meeting of the hospitals’ Board of Trustees on August 25th. While still a loss, it is much lower than the sometime 6 digit losses the hospital has experienced in the recent past. Interim CEO Barbara Lay says the staff is continuing to focus on how to improve the bottom line.
“We’re setting up some benchmarks, and they identified individuals and things that they thought would help make a better work environment; we’ve already started putting some of those in place” says Lay. “As you can see from the deductions on the financial statement, because they are doing a better job of getting the bills out and getting collections in, our deductions for bad debt are lower than they have been. So we’re starting to see an impact; there’s a $100,000.00 impact just for this month.”
Lay says the auditing firm hired to do the hospitals annual audit also praised the hospital staff for the prep work done prior to their arrival. They had scheduled two weeks for the audit, but needed only one.
Carpenter says they are also continuing to streamline the process of writing off bad debts. He says when they started the process in February they initially planned to write off around $600,000.00 in bad debts, but subsequently found they didn’t have the correct documentation to do so. So he says they had to go back and re-age those accounts.
“This month, part of those [accounts] have caught up” says Carpenter, “so I’m asking that we write off $298, 667.75; those had been deemed not collectible through us and we’ll send them to the collection agency. This might be high again next month, but that should clear those out.”
He says although the debts sent to the collection agency have not generated much in the way of revenue so far, the hospital is getting more calls from those inquiring about how to clear their old debts. Lay says this is encouraging as the hospital loses about 50% of the money collected through the agency.
In her report, Lay told the board member that they have submitted their rural health clinic application and told them about the upcoming rural health conference at the end of October in Morgantown. She says the new phone system has been installed and should be up and functioning by the end of September. She also talked about some other things going on.
“Out Vista worker started last week, it’s Misty Handley; she’ll be working on outreach programs to improve the health of our community and we’re really excited” says Lay. “They just announced today that there’s a rural health systems program grant cycle and we would like to apply for that grant, so we’ll have it prepared for you all to approve at our next meeting. We also received our notice of grant award for the Small Rural Hospitals program $8,900.00; those funds will be utilized to improve quality and that will help offset some of our cost to the student group.”
She says they are also looking into USDA grant opportunities to help pay for repair or replacement of some utilities in the hospital.