2010-11-25 / Front Page

F.C. Medical Center Posts $188K Profit


Fulton County Medical Center held a state-of-the company meeting on Monday evening and, in spite of a continued sluggish economy, the county’s 88-bed critical access hospital and skilled nursing facility posted an operating surplus of $188,000 for the 2009-10 fiscal year.

Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Deborah Shughart reviewed the combined financial reports and statistics and reported that home care visits, emergency room visits, and inpatient services all experienced increases in volume for fiscal year 2009-10 when compared to fiscal year 2008-09.

Shughart also reported that outpatient services increased over the previous year in all areas including specialty service and outpatient visits as well as radiology and laboratory procedures.

According to the “State of the Company” report, the center finished the 2009-10 year with an operating surplus of $188,000. Although the surplus was markedly less than last year’s $679,000 surplus, both Shughart and FCMC’s CEO Jason Hawkins attributed the decrease to the economy and to a change in the payer system mix. Due to economic conditions, Medical Assistance payments increased from 16 percent last year to 18 percent this year. Shughart indicated the impact of that change likely cost the medical center a half-million dollars.

The center showed operating expenses of $31.4 million with operating revenues of $31.6 million, resulting in the operating profit of $188,000

Patient and services volumes were, for the most part, up from the previous year. The patient census for 2009-2010 was up slightly with 910 admissions, up from 889 admissions last year. The number of acute-care patient days was also up slightly, 3,065 days compared to 3,027 days in the previous year. The number of swing-bed days was down slightly, 1,336 from 1,521 in 2008- 09.

The number of long-term care days was also down slightly. There were 23,849 patient days in 2009-10 compared with 24,072 during the previous year.

Emergency room visits increased slightly to 9,898 from 9,834 visits last year. The center had 10,855 visits to specialty clinics in 2009- 10, up significantly from 9,193 in the previous year, while both numbers of radiology and laboratory procedures were up this year over previous years, radiology up to 22,233 from 20,912 and lab procedures 128,719 up markedly from 123,668 last year. Outpatient visits totaled 41,021, up from 38,302 in the previous year.

Although Home Care visits were up slightly over last year with 4,209 visits, up from 4,024, Home Health patients decreased slightly from 310 last year to 281 this year.

Medicare continued to provide the most payment for services at 40 percent, while Blue Cross/Highmark provided 24 percent, Medical Assistance about 18 percent, other insurance and direct pay about 17 percent and 1 percent was provided with financial assistance.

President and Chief Executive Officer, Jason F. Hawkins discussed the 2009- 10 accomplishments which included the opening of the new Specialty Services wing in June of this year. The new addition houses the specialty services on the first floor and administrative offices on the second floor. The new building has allowed the medical center to consolidate all of its offices and services on one campus.

He also commented on bringing new physicians and services as well as new equipment to the medical center. He discussed the establishment of electronic health records in both the ER and in long term care as well as computerized medicine dispensing in acute care.

Pulmonology services and a sleep lab have also been added at the center.

Hawkins commented on the success of the center’s- Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) program. FCMC serves as a clinical training site for thirdand fourth-year medical students from LECOM.

A new general surgeon, Dr. Rosenberger joined the hospital during the past year and Dr. Mike Fernandez of Orthopedic Institute of PA also joined specialty services in August 2010. An additional orthopedic physician will be added in March 2011.

In other services updates, Hawkins announced that FCMC also now offers the bariatric lap band program.

Hawkins also talked about the economic impact of hospital/health systems. He said that the hospital now has 400 employees and is the county’s second largest employer. FCMC has an annual payroll of $13.5 million and a service area of 25,000 people.

In his closing remarks, Mr. Hawkins also talked about goals for 2010-11 that include a pain management clinic, a retail/gift shop, and evaluation of a dialysis center and hearing clinic as well as senior living services.

He concluded by saying that he was pleased to show black ink this year when many other hospitals are announcing layoffs and freezing wages. “We are able to be very nimble and very quick when it comes to forecasting the economy and tightening our belts where we need to do that.”

FCMC Board Chair, Lynn Palmer announced the reelection of FCMC board members, James A. Bothell Sr. (first elected in 2007), Sandra Land (2006) and “Sonny” Weicht, III (2009), 3-year terms. Two community members were re-nominated to serve on the nominating committee, Tim Hann and Vince Joyce.

The Fulton County Medical Center Board of Directors includes: Lynn H. Palmer, William C. Dovey Jr., Larry W. Palmer, Nancy Younker, Sharon Martin, M.D., Ph.D., Timothy Mc- Garvey, William L. Milroth, M.D., Tammy Bard, James Bothell, Sandra Land, Denny Buterbaugh, Tonya K. House and Sonny Weicht.

The annual state of the company meeting was held in the Specialty Services’ Pearl Room.

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