PMH posts million dollar loss so far this year
Pocahontas Memorial Hospital's financial outlook continues to decline, as its January report shows a $1 million loss so far this fiscal year.
According to the hospital's chief financial officer Marvina Irvine, nearly half of that is what the hospital must show as allowances, or bad debt, and the allotment for OPEB, Other Post Employee Benefitsﾗthe amount public entities must retain to pay for retired employees' benefits. Those amounts are $988,408 and $280,000, respectively. In addition to those expenses, revenue is down $100,000, while expenses are up approximately $200,000, Irvine said.
Irvine said the hospital still has cash flow and is less than 10 percent of its $300,000 line of credit.
She did say that the recession has begun to affect the healthcare industry and that people are slower to pay their debts to the hospital; however, Irvine has set into motion a point of payment plan that allows patients to pay for a portion of their hospital visit before they leave.
Irvine reported that the hospital had collected $2,000 last month on 53 visits in the new program and that the staff is directing patients to the business office.
Our Ambulance showed a loss of nearly $17,000, PMH Home Health, $47,000 and the PMH Clinic showed a profit of $26,000.
Clinic visits are down from last year, due in part to PMH no longer having a facility at Snowshoe Mountain Resort.
PMH Administrator Don Muhlenthaler said the hospital has the opportunity to rent Dr. John Sharp's clinic in the nearby medical complex, which could mean moving the clinic out of the floodplain
Muhlenthaler said that some of the staff had visited Sharp's clinic last month.
However, the hospital's chief of staff Mike Jarrett said the staff didn't like Sharp's terms which included offices for three of his staff members, maintaining his medical files and the offer of only a year-long lease.
"I get the feeling, he wants to keep a presence there and it's like we're going to be babysitting the practice. We think we would rather not be in the building at this time," Jarrett said.
Board members were still interested in the idea and directed Muhlenthaler to negotiate a lease that is at least five years long, includes the entire office, does not include maintaining Sharp's medical practice records and previews of actual utility costs. The clinic buys its water from PMH which owns the system.
The lease on the clinic building on Ninth Street in Marlinton is up at the end of June.
Muhlenthaler's plan to have MRI services at the hospital was not as well received. Board members said the costﾗ$10,000 to startﾗ was too great at this time to entertain the idea of having that service.
The search for an administrator has turned up nearly 80 applicants. Search committee members said they will begin interviews in early March.
Muhlenthaler will retire in August.
The hospital administrator said he wanted to correct a public statement that Dr. Luis Soriano had resigned from the PMH board. Jarrett replaced Soriano on the board at the end of Soriano's term, he said. Soriano is still on staff at PMH.
The hospital board ended its meeting in an executive session requested by Muhlenthaler on a "strategic plan." The board took no action except to adjourn when it returned from its secret session.