Greenwood Leflore Hospital was able to erase a million-dollar operating loss in August, thanks again to a reserve of coronavirus relief funds.

And it received another $1.7 million in grant money, this time from the Mississippi Legislature, bringing the total assistance to nearly $25 million that the hospital has received to weather the COVID-19 pandemic.

The financial report presented to the hospital board Tuesday showed the hospital with $8.9 million in revenue last month, down $747,000 or 7.7% from August 2019.

Expenses were up $142,000, or 1.4%.

The net operating result was a $1 million loss, compared to one of $155,000 the year before.

After applying nearly $1.5 million in coronavirus relief money,  though, the hospital finished the month with a profit of $506,000, compared to a $13,000 loss in August 2019.

It is the fourth straight month the hospital has ended in the black.

For the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30, the hospital has so far used $15.5 million in grant money to help it deal with the additional costs of treating COVID-19 patients and the revenue it lost from having to stop most elective procedures during the early months of the pandemic.

Thus, even though the hospital is showing an operating loss of $16.9 million for the year — $10 million more than the year before — its bottom-line loss is just $755,000, after the grant money and investment income have been applied.

The hospital still has more than $9.3 million in grant money to draw from in coming months.

In addition, it has socked away $16.5 million in advance Medicare payments under another federal program designed to help hospitals with their cash flow. That money has to be paid back out of future reimbursements from the government insurance program. Hospital officials expected the clawback to begin in August, but as of Monday, it has not started, according to Dawne Holmes, the chief financial officer.

Of the state grant for $1.7 million, the hospital used more than $700,000 in August to reward its employees financially for their efforts during the pandemic. The “Healthcare Heroes” payments were recommended by Interim CEO Gary Marchand.

Marchand was out of town Tuesday trying to prepare his Gulf Coast home for Hurricane Sally. Holmes explained that the intent of the program was to ensure that all employees knew their contributions at work during this especially trying time were appreciated.

“No matter who you are in this hospital, you’ve been affected by COVID. You have really stepped up and had to be here and been here for the community and for each other,” she said.

On Tuesday, the board also went into a 52-minute executive session. Among the topics to be discussed was what Board Attorney Tom Flanagan described as an “open administrative position.” He declined to identify the position.

The board is believed to be looking for Marchand’s replacement. The veteran hospital administrator, who came out of retirement last October to serve as the interim CEO, is not seeking the job permanently.

The board reported no action on the matter.

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

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