Morgan Memorial boasts profit in December
Despite an expected increase in expenses due to the holiday season, Morgan Memorial Hospital boasted a profit for the month of December. "A bottom line profit of $107,239," Treasurer John Milliken said, at last Wednesday's Morgan Memorial Hospital Authority Board meeting. "So, we're looking good." Without county contributions, the hospital brought in almost $24,000. Hospital revenue totaled more than $1 million, and was $7,000 more than the budgeted amount, according to Milliken. December's operating expenses, which included an increase in salary and wages due to the holidays, totaled close to $900,000. Milliken also reported that the state owed the hospital more than $308,000 in Medicaid reimbursements this year. The hospital has received the payment, and it will be reflected in next month's finances. Within the Property and Equipment Committee report, the Authority Board unanimously passed a motion to spend $9,900 on nine Omnicell drawers needed to complete the hospitals' Omnicell system, used to regulate the distribution of prescription drugs within the facility. "A few years ago we purchased the Omnicell system and it was designed to meet our current needs," Morgan Memorial CEO H.D. Cannington said. "As it turns out, we need to purchase more drawers." The Property and Equipment Committee report, presented by Authority Board member Calvin Welch, also addressed the cost of outdoor beautification for Morgan Memorial, which could be as much as $2,500, as well as the purchase of a sediment filter for the hospital's water system, to cost between $7,000 and $10,000. Further, one of two grants the Morgan Memorial Healthcare Foundation is currently working on may cover the cost of the outdoor beautification, according to Foundation Executive Director Megan Morris. Patient days as well as surgical cases and revenues increased in the month of December, according to the Administrative Report given by Morgan Memorial CEO Cannington, while outpatient visits were slightly down for the month. Cannington addressed changes to the billing and collections procedures in regards to non-patient laboratory services, changes that should go into effect February 1.
"This is what we do for local doctors," Cannington said. "They draw blood in their office and send it to us...It will make our hospital much more competitive with reference labs and should increase the number of procedures performed." Cannington also reported to the Authority Board that The Benefit Group, the organization responsible for hospital employees' health insurance, completed a six-month review of the partially self-funded employee health insurance plan. "We have had no large claims but tons of small claims and our total pay-out is less than it would've been under a fully insured plan," Cannington said. With the renewal process slated to begin in early March, Cannington said changes to the employee health insurance plan to be considered include adding a Health Savings Account option and altering prescription drug benefits. A new radiology machine is set to be installed over the first week of February; the machine will improve patient safety and provide better X-ray images, according to Cannington. Morris, in her Auxiliary/Foundation/Public Relations Report, informed the Authority Board that the Web site is complete and will soon have the capacity for eBilling. The Foundation is sponsoring "Candlelight, Champagne and Chocolates," an event to honor 2007 donors, on Thursday, February 14 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Hilltop.