Veterans Memorial Hospital awaiting results of annual audit to confirm another positive financial fiscal year

by Brianne Eilers

The Veterans Memorial Hospital (VMH) Board of Trustees met for its regular monthly meeting Tuesday, July 21. VMH Administrator Mike Myers noted that the hospital was in the process of having its audit completed, so exact financial figures were not yet available for the month of June, but he did say that VMH made a profit during the month of June. He estimated that the profit would fall between $20,000-$40,000.
“We are figuring we will end the fiscal year slightly above where we were last year,” Myers noted. “Overall, it was a pretty strong month."
Myers also noted that in comparing statistics from 2015 to 2014, deliveries were down by eight from the previous year, which Myers stated was a “record year”. Skilled patient days were up 9.5%, while acute days were down, which follows a national trend. Myers explained that more care is switching to outpatient, which leads to the decrease in the acute area.
Surgeries stayed pretty much at the same level, while the lab and x-ray areas experienced growth, along with emergency room visits and cardiac rehab. Myers noted that since January 1, 2015, with differences in insurance coverage, there has been more lab and x-ray work ordered.
“For the month, the inpatient revenue was under budget, but the outpatient revenue was about $400,000 more than we expected,” he said, further noting that expenses tracked right along with the revenue. Myers estimated that the hospital will probably make around $500,000 year-to-date for the fiscal year ending June 2015. After the audit results are available, a more definite figure will be available.
Myers did point out that the hospital continues to experience a higher number in days in accounts receivable, but has put together a plan and is working to get that number down. The implementation of ICD 10, however, will add to the issue, and that will require much more detailed coding and slow the process down. ICD 10 is a revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD), a medical classification list by the World Health Organization.
There was also a quarterly Critical Access Hospital meeting, and policies were reviewed. It was determined that VMH is in compliance with all policies. Charity Care and Bad Debt were below budget, but Myers noted that with the Medicaid Expansion, those figures will go back up again. “The Governor can expand Medicaid, but the belief is that they will deny a lot of claims, and we, by law, can’t deny care or turn people away,” Myers said.
VMH approved a capital budget of approximately $330,000. One of the items to be purchased will be a four-dimensional ultrasound system. “It will be an enhancement for the service, especially OB,” Myers said.
The hospital will have another ALICE training event, in which staff will learn how to react in the event of an active shooter scenario in the hospital. Myers also noted that terms for board members Dennis Lyons, Kevin Hanson and Matt Goltz will be expiring, and he anticipated all three will run again for re-election.
Myers also gave some statistics in the number of MRIs done at the hospital. He noted that with the convenience of having the MRI machine permanently located at the hospital, patients don’t have to wait very long when the need for an MRI is determined. VMH averages 40 MRIs a month now, where they used to only do 27 a month when the machine was not permanently located at the hospital.