Pocahontas Memorial Hospital Ends Fiscal Year With Net Loss Of $134,000 Dollars

Marlinton, WV – Pocahontas Memorial Hospital ended fiscal year 2010 with a net loss of over $134,000 dollars. Chief financial officer Chad Carpenter explains.

“We’ll start out with the income statement for June” he says. “We did have a loss of $226,000.00 for the month of June. A lot of that can be contributed to revenue [losses], it was down about $200,000.00. Since it was year end, we do have to make some adjustments that we’ve already made; some of that was to inventory, things like that.”

“We did end up with a loss of $134,000.00 year to date. There could still be some more adjustments that the auditors might make after they’ve completed their audit, if they find anything.”

Carpenter says that despite over $420,000 in write offs caused by the old billing service, fewer patients being seen, and other factors, the financial situation over all is vastly improved. And the $134,000 loss is a far more acceptable number than last years’ $1.3 Million loss. He says nearly all expenses are well within forecasts and personnel costs are being controlled. Board President Dr Robert Must gives this overall assessment.

“The year before, our loss was 1.2 Million Dollars, this year we came really close to the black, didn’t quite get there, we had $134,000-135,000 loss for the year” says Dr. Must. “But to do that well with lower census means that there was a lot of tightening up through out the year, so that speaks well for all the adjustments have been made. Now we really need to focus on stabilizing physician staff and improving services.”

Interim CEO Barbara Lay told the board that she is looking at several new physicians that have expressed interest in working at the Hospital either on a full or part time basis. The only name that she divulged is long time county resident Dr Sarita Bennett. She provides information about another potential Physician.

“We do have another physician, who’s an internal med Pediatric physician which would be a really great addition” says Lay. “I’ll be sending him out something to look at to see if we might be able to get him in here. He’s also done a lot of ER and some inpatient.”

“And he said That is a beautiful area and a nice Hospital.’ His fianc is also Board Certified in family practice. She’s just had a child and is looking for employment in about the next 6 months so that’s a real positive. We also have been contacted by 4 other physicians who want to do mostly ER Work.”

She also says that the Hospital Staff recently held an in house “table top” disaster drill. It is designed to highlight any short comings in the Hospital’s Disaster Plan. The next step will be a full up exercise with all staff involved in a simulated drill and will occur soon.

Lay wants to contract with the Studer Group. This organization has an excellent track record in assisting hospitals raising critical evaluation scores. The assistance provided takes the form of software “coaching”. Lay says that over 800 hospitals contract with the Studer Group. Chief Nurse Stephanie Alexander has extensive experience with the Studer Group at a previous Hospital and gives her appraisal.

“It showed me how to make people accountable” says Alexander. “I think the word that I would use for Studer is that it trains a manager who wants to make their staff accountable for something and hold them accountable to it; and follow through with it. So not only does it improve systems such as retention, your staff’s happier, your low performers are no longer here, and your medial performers are trying to strive to be high performers, and it makes for a whole better environment all the way around.”

The Board accepted the proposal to contract with the Studer Group.

In other business the Board approved writing off $112,000 in uncollectable debt and contracting with a new Chief Pathologist to replace the current Pathologist who has resigned pending naming of a replacement.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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