PMH finances improve by $1 million
Hospital still shows loss forﾠfiscal year
A low census for the past couple of months, translating into lower revenues, meant Pocahontas Memorial Hospital did not finish its fiscal year in the black; however, the hospital's financial report shows a $1 million improvement over last year.
Chief Financial Officer Chad Carpenter said last Thursday that the books showed a $134,000 loss, as compared to a $1.3 million loss for the 2009-10 fiscal year. Carpenter said that figure is premature because auditors have not gone over the hospital's accounts for this year.
The CFO said PMH's employees are to thank for the improvement in finances.
"They've made a lot of sacrifices," he said. "It's been tough for them."
Minnie Hamilton Health System's retired CFO, Edward Lawaty, concurred with Carpenter, adding that expenses at the hospital are relatively steady.
"Really, when you look at the items that are in our control, you see progress in every area. You see real improvement here. Revenue is a little bit of a problem. Revenue is estimated. We'll see how the auditors look at our professional judgment, whether they agree or not," Lawaty said. "The staff is really to be commended."
MHHS, a Federally Qualified Health Center, is collaborating with this county's hospital until next month. The Calhoun County based health service began working with PMH last year in an effort to establish this county's hospital as an FQHC when former administrator Don Muhlenthaler retired. PMH subsequently hired MHHS's administrator, Barbara Lay, to replace Muhlenthaler.
Carpenter also reported that cash is in balance at the hospital and that next year's budget is ready. The new budget shows little, if any, growth in revenue.
As for past due accounts owed to PMH, Carpenter said he is sending $112,000 to a collection agency after "exhaustive" efforts to collect those accounts in arrears failed.
In her report as interim administrator, Lay said, local physician Dr. Sarita Bennett, will work at the PMH clinic two days a week. Lay also reported that two other doctors are interested in moving to the area. PMH board chair Dr. Robert Must is helping with recruitment, she said.
Must said he wants to put together a strategic plan committee made up of board members, staff and community leaders.
Must was re-elected to his position as board chair, Don McNeel was re-elected as vice-chair and Cathy Mosesso, secretary-treasurer.
During the annual meeting portion of the day, Doris Weatherholt reported to the board on behalf of the PMH Auxiliary. Weatherholt said the organization has provided more than $12,000 in equipment for PMH, including a laptop for the pharmacy, a desk for the gift shop, a dishwasher, chairs for the dining room, a computer for medical records, a coffee pot and cup dispenser.
Plans are in the works to buy chairs for patient rooms, she continued.
She said the auxiliary raises money through the Lovelight Tree at Christmastime, the bakeless bake sale and selling badges at Pioneer Days.
The PMH board meets again in regular session Thursday, August 25, at 6 p.m. in the hospital board room.