Hospital hears audit, $11.5 million unpaid in patient fees FY14

Published 10:33 pm Friday, September 19, 2014

The Hospital Authority of Bainbridge, the governing body of Memorial Hospital and Manor, received an “unqualified” or clear financial audit for the previous fiscal year, ending March 31, 2014.

During Tuesday’s board meeting, Bert Bennett of Draffin & Tucker of Albany, Ga., presented the audit and the annual financials of Memorial Hospital.

For the 2014 fiscal year, it had a net income of $31,466 on total operating revenues of $44.92 million. As a comparison, the hospital had a net income of $873,233 for the previous 2013 fiscal year.

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The hospital’s operating margin, or the difference between operating revenues and operating expenses, was a loss of $303,488. The loss comes despite an increase of operating revenue of $2.74 million from the prior year. This figure does not include non-operating income or expenses and does not include SPLOST revenue.

The hospital’s total operating revenue of $44.92 million was reduced by 51.6 percent due to discounts to Medicare, Medicaid and other third-party payers. Additionally, the hospital had a 6.6 percent bad debt write-off for uncollectible debt.

The hospital had $45.44 million in expenses during the 2014 fiscal year. Of the total expenses, 64 percent is comprised of employee salaries and benefits.

The board also discussed increasing challenges of managing accounts receivables, the money owed to the hospital by patients for services rendered. The average collection period during the 2014 fiscal year was 87 days, up from an average of 79 days in 2013 and 65 days in 2010. The total patient accounts receivable at the end of the fiscal year was $11.5 million.

“We have to look at our accounts receivable closely. It is terrible,” said board chairman Charles Tyson. “We cannot sustain this hospital with income of $40,000.”

“You’ve really have to focus on this,” said Bennett. “We’ve talked a lot about this. Sixty days is very high, but 80 days is a very big number. You’re not getting paid for the services provided.”

The board discussed ways, including internal staff activities and the utilization of outside collection agencies, to collect the money due to the hospital.

“We are too compassionate. We need to start going after some assets if they don’t pay us,” said Tyson.