By Nick Nunn staff writer

Morgan Memorial Hospital (MMH) suffered a net loss of more than $84,000 for the month of April 2014. According to the fiscal year (FY) 2014 budget, MMH should have year to date a net loss of approximately $101,000 at the end of April. However, the hospital’s net loss is currently more than $330,000, a difference of around $229,000. Kyle Wilkinson, Chief Financial Officer for MMH, stated during the May 29 meeting of the Morgan Memorial Hospital Authority (MMHA) that the hospital should be able to make up that difference in the final two months of FY 2014. “If May and June are as strong as I think they will be, we’ll be close to breaking even,” said Wilkinson.

Wilkinson said that MMH received a payment of $344,000 from the state in Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) funding in early May and that that payment would go a long way to making up the budget’s current year to date difference. Approximately $227,000 of that payment will go directly toward the hospital’s net income for May 2014. He stated that the biggest reason for the $84,000 net loss in April was an “extraordinary” $64,000 cost due to the FY 2012 Final Cost Report Settlement.

Wilkinson said that, without that expense, the net loss for April would have only been $3,800. Wilkinson said that the hospital continues to manage its expenses well, adding that both the total deductions and operating expenses were “heading in the right direction” from March 2014 to April 2014. The average daily census dropped from 20.8 in March to 18.7 in April, with the numbers for both emergency department visits and surgical procedures decreasing as well, resulting in a $86,000 decrease in gross patient revenue from March to April. Despite the census drop over the past month, Wilkinson noted that there has been a “steady climb upward” in the occupancy rate since September 2013. Director of Development and Community Relations Megan Morris stated that six rooms in the Lewis Wing of MMH have been renovated for the ongoing Room Refresh Project and that the remaining rooms will be worked on as soon as vacancies allow. She also said that 10 MMH employees assisted with the Teen Maze program, which was held at Morgan County High School last month, and that 40 usable pints of blood were collected during the hospital’s Community Cookout and Shepeard Blood Drive on May 14.

Morris and MMHA Member Sarah Burbach gave a presentation on the Morgan Memorial Healthcare Foundation (MMHF), an independent non-profit organization, which was established in 2005 in order to build relationships between the community and the hospital and to enable the expansion the MMH’s patent care capabilities. MMHF has current assets totaling $214,000, with approximately $150,000 reserved for projects. Past projects have included hosting medical seminars, securing grants and donations for the hospital, and creating an $80,000 Support of the Hospital Endowment. Current projects including the Room Refresh Project, for which more than $61,000 has been contributed, and the Partners for Outstanding Rural Community Healthcare (PORCH) annual giving program. Morris said that more than $120,000 has been given to the PORCH program since it began in 2009. Morris said that the MMHF receives funding through both community contributions and employees of the hospital, who give through the Hospital Employees Actively Reaching for Tomorrow (HEART) program.

Employees can elect to become a part of the HEART program by giving a three-year pledge to have a portion of their payroll deducted as a contribution. She said that the HEART program has led to approximately $60,000 in employee contributions.