By Nick Nunn staff writer

Morgan Memorial Hospital (MMH) suffered a net income loss of approximately $131,000 for the month of March 2014, despite an increase of more than $224,000 in gross patient revenue from February to March. The hospital’s operating expenses also increased by approximately $201,000 from February to March. MMH Chief Financial Officer Kyle Wilkinson attributed the increase in expenses to certain “one-time expenses” for the hospital. He also stated that the MMH’s daily census increased from 19.5 in February to 20.8 in March, which accounted for the $104,000 increase in emergency room patient revenue and $148,000 increase in swing bed patient revenue. Wilkinson also said that it was “unfortunate” that the hospital received stop loss payments in the amount of $191,000 just after the beginning of April. He noted that, had those payments been received a few days earlier, they would have resulted in an approximate positive income of $60,000 for the month.

Wilkinson said that MMH is “starting to see positive signs,” adding “hopefully our expenses will be back down to what we’re accustomed to in April.” Director of Development and Community Relations Megan Morris informed the Morgan Memorial Hospital Authority (MMHA) that the Morgan Memorial Hospital Auxiliary donated $44,000 toward the upgrade of the hospital’s Omnicell medication system.

The Morgan Memorial Foundation’s Room Refresh project is underway, and Morris stated that four rooms have been successfully renovated. She said that they will be working on only one or two rooms at a time in order to prevent excessive disruptions to patient care. The Foundation also received a contribution of $17,000 for the purchase of a mobile medication dispensing cart. Robin Couch gave a brief presentation on the hospital’s materials management department, outlining what goes into “planning, organizing and controlling the flow of materials” at MMH. The materials management department works with vendors to negotiate the best price and quality of supplies for MMH while processing requisitions from other departments in the hospital. Couch said that the department tries to balance the purchase cost of goods with the carrying cost of goods. “We try not to keep a whole lot of money on the shelves,” said Couch, adding that the hospital typically has from 350 to 400 items of inventory on stock on a daily basis.