By Nick Nunn staff writer

The Morgan Memorial Hospital (MMH) earned more than $21,000 in net income during the month of December 2013, despite a relatively low daily census of 15.9 patients per day.

The gross patient revenue for December was almost $80,000 less than budgeted, but a decrease of approximately $125,000 in total deductions created the possibility for MMH’s financially positive month. MMH Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Kyle Wilkinson stated that the net income was actually “about $30,000 better off than we had budgeted.” A net loss of more than $8,000 had been budgeted for December.

December’s gross patient revenue marked an increase of more than $194,000 from November, and deductions decreased approximately $268,000 to a figure “closer to our average,” said Wilkinson. Wilkinson praised the collection efforts undertaken by the hospital during December, which were a “main driver” for the increase in gross patient revenue, despite the drop in the daily census from 19.7 in November to 15.9 in December.

Looking forward to January, Wilkinson stated that the census had increased so far to approximately 16.3, but that the estimated collections for the month would be about $1,050,000, and that MMH would be receiving its Indigent Care Trust Fund (ICTF) money in the next few months.

“We’ve got that to look forward to,” said Wilkinson. MMH Chief Executive Officer Ralph Castillo spoke briefly to the Morgan Memorial Hospital Authority (MMHA) concerning changes in the state health benefit plan, saying that the hospital will have to decide whether or not to handle Blue Cross/Blue Shield patients in the future. Castillo stated that Blue Cross/Blue Shield plans on making changes to their reimbursement plan, which would result in a loss for MMH for each Blue Cross/Blue Shield patient treated.

The authority heard from Pamela Crawford, manager of the rehabilitation department at MMH, concerning the department, which currently offers inpatient physical, occupational, and speech therapy five to six days a week. Outpatient rehab, which is offered five days a week as well, has recently moved to 1010 Barclay Drive to be closer to MMH’s main campus.

The rehabilitation staff is made up of 16 therapists, whose experience ranges from two years to 30-plus years Crawford stated that she is “very excited” about the outpatient location moving closer to MMH, but that developing the site is still a “work in progress.”

Megan Morris, director of development and community relations at MMH, said that the Morgan Memorial Foundation has been “very busy” and has raised $48,000 towards their goal of $50,000, which will be used to renovate patient rooms at MMH. Morris also informed the authority of MMH’s first hospital-hosted blood drive, which will take place on Monday, Feb. 10, from noon to 6 p.m.