Very Tough Road Ahead Financially for Elbert Memorial

February 26, 2014

It was a good month financially for Elbert Memorial Hospital, on paper anyway.

For the month of January Elbert Memorial had a net income of $385,000; according to Chief Financial Officer Larry Magers most of that was attributed to Elbert Memorial receiving its allotted amount of meaningful use funds for the electronic health records.

Hospital Authority Board Member Daniel Graves wanted to convey to the public that Elbert Memorial is continuing to struggle despite what appears to be a good financial month.

“I think the public needs to understand that is not an operational good month, that it is still a struggle and there are still epic challenges in front of us, and I just wish more of the community was here to see that number and grasp how big of a problem this is”, said Graves.

Fiscal YTD Elbert Memorial currently is posting a $224,000 net loss, while during the same time frame last fiscal year; the hospital posted a profit of 17,000.

During the meeting, Graves mentioned that if you subtracted the amount of meaningful use funds received, then the hospital would be roughly $800,000 in the hole just barely over halfway through the 2014 fiscal year.

That number is something Graves again wanted the public to be aware of.

“When we consider the fact that we are talking about spec buildings and things along those lines, which are wonderful ideas, that’s not the only economic engine that we have to consider”, said Graves. “We’ve got 140 FTEs, and I remember seeing reports of a $30 million economic impact this hospital has, and right now we are at an $800,000 hole, and I just want to make sure that information is out there.”

This year’s meaningful use fund payment came in at roughly $584,000.

Magers said if you subtract that number from the gross revenue number, it works out to about $450,000 less than what was posted a year ago.

Nothing else was discussed publicly regarding the financial issues facing Elbert Memorial Hospital during Tuesday night’s hospital authority meeting.