Greenwood Leflore Hospital almost broke even in August.

The loss of just $13,300, once investment income is included, was a significant improvement over the more than half-million dollars the publicly owned hospital lost in the same month a year ago.

The hospital posted an operational loss of $154,817 last month but had investment income of $141,514 that covered almost all of the red ink.

“One reason that August was so good, we had a big inpatient volume. ... We had a good surgery month,”  Dawne Holmes, chief financial officer, told the hospital board during its regular monthly meeting Tuesday. Holmes is serving as interim CEO while the board looks for a permanent chief executive.

She said that the hospital has seen a reversal in past trends in which the volume of outpatient procedures rose while the more lucrative inpatient stays had fallen. For the year so far, inpatient gross revenue has risen by $1 million while outpatient gross revenue has dropped by $3.6 million. Still, outpatient revenue remains almost double inpatient revenue.

Eleven months into the fiscal year, the hospital is showing an operating loss of $6.8 million, which is 13% less than the $7.8 million it lost for the same time period a year ago. The hospital, nevertheless, is likely to end the year with its fourth straight multimillion-dollar loss.

In other business, the board approved a plan designed to improve the health of the community it serves by increasing the amount of outreach the hospital does.

Key Britt, vice president of administrative services, presented the board with the preliminary results of a Community Health Needs Assessment that the hospital is required to conduct every three years. Based on two focus-group meetings and more than 600 individual surveys, the researchers concluded that transportation is a major problem in the area and that many people want medical services brought to them, rather than having to come to the hospital for preventative screens and other treatment, Britt said.

She said the plan envisions using mobile units and temporary clinics in the hospital’s service area to respond to the demand. She said the hospital has already developed a relationship with the newly established Greenwood Community Center to hold clinics at its Avenue I location on a routine basis.

Board Chairman Harris Powers Jr. said he agreed that outreach efforts are needed but asked Britt how they would be financed. She responded that the hospital would have to pick up some of the costs, but she would also be pursuing grants and volunteer assistance.

The board approved spending almost $58,000 a year combined with two companies, Healthicity and CIOX Health, to audit the coding of patient bills and provide additional training to the hospital’s billing department. Holmes said the hospital several years ago had used such auditing services but had discontinued them. “It needs to be done again,” she said.

The board also approved hiring three outside companies, as recommended by Holmes, to help with collection of outstanding bills. The firms will receive 7.5% to 25% of what they collect, depending on the age of the debt and the steps they have to take to collect it.

The board later went into executive session to discuss a list of issues, ranging from personnel to quality assurance. After the 75-minute closed-door session, according to The Taxpayers Channel, Powers reported that the board approved some physician contracts and hired a physician staffing firm.

Freddie White-Johnson was absent from the meeting. It was the third straight regular or called meeting the board member has missed.

Contact Tim Kalich at 581-7243 or tkalich@gwcommonwealth.com.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.