UNION COUNTY — Expenses were down but so were revenues leaving the Union Hospital District with a $1.1 million deficit for the month of February.
The district’s monthly financial statement was presented during this week’s meeting of the Union Hospital District Board of Trustees and its Finance Committee. The report states that the district’s operating expense for February totaled $4,356,528 or $234,984 less than January’s operating expenses which totaled $4,591,512. The decrease in operating expenses was mainly due to reductions in personnel and other costs including salaries and wages, professional fees, insurance, utilities, and supplies.
Despite this, operating expenses still exceeded net operating revenues which were also down, totaling $3,248,066 in February or $824,198 less than the January total of $4,072,264. The decrease in net operating revenue was due mainly to declines in inpatient, emergency, outpatient, long-term care, EMS and physician offices revenue as well increased deductions for Medicare patients and charity care.
This left the district with a deficit of $1,108,462 for February, or slightly more than twice January’s deficit of $519,248.
As of the end of February, net operating revenues for the current fiscal year totaled $20,477,863 while operating expenses totaled $22,441,130 for a year-to-date deficit of $1,963,268.
CEO Paul Newhouse said Friday that the expenses incurred by the district in February included indigent care write-offs of $533,000 of which $385,000 was for one patient. These are costs that the district is not compensated for and must absorb which reduces its revenues while increasing its expenses.
Uninsured patients have been a factor in the approximately $2 million to $3 million a year the hospital district has lost in recent years. The percentage of patients without insurance has continued to grow this year, growing from 12 percent in September to more than 16 percent in January.
Another factor in the losses the district has experienced in recent years has been the reduction in reimbursements by Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial insurance companies.
The district is in the process of implementing a program of spending cuts to balance its budget and increase reimbursement to move it into the black. Newhouse said that the program got underway in mid-March and to date a total of $2 million in spending reductions have been implemented with more to come in the future as district staff finds new savings and new means of generating revenue. He said that while some of this will show up on the March financial reports, the main impact will not be felt until April and May.
The district is composed of Wallace Thomson Hospital, Ellen Sagar Nursing Home, Union County EMS, and Carolinas Health Associates and the report also looked at the financial performance of each institution in February.
Operating expenses ($2,796,062) exceeded net operating revenues ($2,037,430) at Wallace Thomson in February leaving a deficit of $758,632. In January, the hospital’s expenses totaled $3,029,420 with revenues of $2,761,963 for a deficit of $267,457. Year-to-date, the hospital had expenses totaling $14,645,798 and revenues of $13,979,405 for a deficit of $666,393.
Revenues ($670,015) exceeded expenditures ($609,068) at Ellen Sagar in February producing an income of $60,947. In January, revenues ($743,902), also exceeded expenditures ($589,042) producing an income of $154,860. Year-to-date, the nursing home had revenues totaling $2,649,157 with expenditures of $2,980,646 for an income of $690,774.
The EMS generated revenues of $129,544 in February but incurred expenses of $186,682 producing a $57,128 deficit. January’s revenues were $129,580 with expenses totaling 198,383 for a deficit of $68,803. Year-to-date revenues for EMS were $624,174 with expenses of $924,633 and a deficit of $300,459.
Carolinas Health Associates
At Carolina Health Associates expenses ($764,717) exceeded revenues ($411,067) for a deficit of $353,650. In January, expenses ($774,667) also exceeded revenues ($436,819) producing a $337,848 deficit. Year-to-date, CHA generated $2,202,864 in revenue and incurred $3,890,054 in expenses for a $1,687,190 deficit.
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.