In June 30 IssueBy John ThompsonTimes Journal Reporter
The Russell County Hospital Board met on Thursday at the last meeting of the fiscal year.
On the agenda were a presentation by the accounting firm of BKD forecasting financials and feasibility study for the hospital through 2015 with the construction of new facilities.
The forecast included a $21 million USDA loan repayment over 40 years at 4.25 percent interest; the costs and potential income of the proposed new construction on the hospital that will add significantly to outpatient services. The 18 month project which began construction in April, 2011 is slated to be finished in August, 2012. The structure construction alone is estimated to cost $14 million.
Other considerations by BKD in forecasting the health of the Russell County Hospital included projections for salary increases, increases in operating expenses, changing demographics as it applies to inpatient versus outpatient services and the resultant cost/income changes, among other issues.
The project to remove an underground fuel storage tank on hospital grounds is underway. According to hospital CEO David Rasmussen, "We found out, going through the process, that our storage tank is exempt from a lot of the issues (EPA regulations) that were there; mainly because it was only used for heating fuel, so there was no gas involved, only diesel… so a lot of those EPA type issues went out the window."
Removal of the storage tank should begin within the next 30 days. Marion Environmental Inc. is the company contracted to perform the removal.
Chief Financial Officer Ken Kimsal presented the financial report for the month of May. Total patient revenue was about three percent below budget. Total patient revenue for the month of May was $4,531,361 with a year to date patient revenue of $49,490,363. This is before deduction of all expenses. The net patient revenue being $1,847,365 for May with a year to date of $18,843,440.
The total net income shows $80,535 for May and $1,181,215 for the fiscal year to date. This is the profit after all expenses are removed from revenue.
Other numbers of interest are total operating expenses for May of $1,818,740 and a year to date of $18,626,503 to compare to the net patient revenue.
Currently projected for the fiscal year end, June 30, 2011, the hospital will have the following; cash on hand $4,892,048, with total current assets including net patient receivables and other current assets, plus net property, plant and equipment and other assets has the Russell County Hospital facing the new fiscal year with total assets of $15,930,536.
Liabilities facing the hospital come to just over $6 million.
The 2012 fiscal year budget projects clear revenue of $1,193,000. The trend toward less inpatient services and an increase in outpatient services is expected to continue.
The board was asked to commit to dedicating $34,000 toward Stereotactic Breast Biopsy Project. The project requires the boards commitment when applying for a $174,000 grant through the Appalachian Regional Commission. Currently the hospital handles on average two breast biopsies per month, but with increased capability it is estimated that that will increase to four or more because of the reduced wait time for patients that likely seek the service elsewhere in other counties. The board voted to apply for the grant and committing to the investment.
Rasmussen presented the board with the hospital satisfaction rating as performed by the Press Ganey group. Overall inpatient satisfaction rose from 87.6 percent to 88 percent in the month of May.
Rasmussen recapped the current efforts to begin a "Hospitalist" program which will be a major change in the operations of the hospital. A hospitalist is a specialist doctor who will see all patients in house as well as the Emergency Department. This trend is currently being used throughout the country.
Last month Rasmussen reported that in local doctors he surveyed, 71 percent want the plan implemented as soon as possible.
The program hit a snag in that a third hospitalist that was to be hired changed his mind and will not be taking the position and moving to Russell County. Rasmussen said the search for the third and completing doctor will continue.
Look for a feature article in the Times Journal in the coming weeks regarding the role and impact of using the hospitalist program will have on hospital services and the care provided for Russell Countians.