2011-11-24 / Front Page

FCMC Posts $983K Loss

By Jean Snyder

Fulton County Medical Center held a state-of-the company meeting on Monday evening and, because of a continued sluggish economy and high unemployment rates, the county’s 88-bed critical access hospital and skilled nursing facility posted an operating loss of $983,423 for the 2010-11 fiscal year.

Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Deborah Shughart reviewed the combined financial reports and statistics and reported that outpatient visits, specialty services visits, home health visits and long term care services all experienced increases in volume for fiscal year 2010-11 when compared to fiscal year 2009-10.

Shughart also reported that only the acute care, swing beds and emergency room visits were down from the previous fiscal year.

According to the “State of the Company” report, the center finished the 2010-11 year with an operating deficit of $983,423. By comparison, in 2009-10, the center posted an operating profit of $188,000.

Both Shughart and FCMC’s CEO Jason Hawkins attributed the deficit to the economy citing a nearly $2.6 million dollar provision for bad debts over the past year (compared to $1.8 million the previous year).

Hawkins noted that the center has lost both federal and state funding over the past year including nearly $1 million in state cuts.

The center showed operating expenses of $34.2 million with operating revenues of $33.2 million, resulting in the operating loss.

Patient and services volumes were, for the most part, up from the previous year. The number of outpatient visits was up slightly, 40,721, up from 40,353 last year.

Specialty services were up markedly, 13,211, up from 10,855 last year.

Home health services were up, 4,458, up from 4,209 last year and the number of long-term care days increased from 23,848 last year to 24,179 this year.

Emergency room visits decreased slightly to 9,510 from 9,898 last year.

The number of acute care days also decreased slightly from 3,065 last year to 2,856 this year.

Medicare continued to provide the most payment for services at 39 percent, while Blue Cross/Highmark provided 21 percent, Medical Assistance about 16 percent, other insurance and direct pay about 23 (up from 17 percent last year) and 1 percent was provided with financial assistance.

President and Chief Executive Officer, Jason F. Hawkins reviewed the medical staff and the center’s specialty services outlook. He discussed the recruitment and retention of specialists and discussed the center’s honors and accomplishments over the past year.

Physician recruitments have included infectious disease physician, Dr. Parviz; two gynecologists, Dr. Grant and Dr. Aldinger of UPMC Bedford; two podiatric surgery specialists, Dr. Richards and Dr. Cashdollar; and general practice physician, Dr. Joanna Brady.

Hawkins commented on information technology additions including the initiation of an electronic medical record. The center also received an HIT grant for $300,000, gained access to a high speed fiber ring and installed a revenue cycle software upgrade.

Honors received by Fulton County Medical Center over the past year included: an Excellence in Quality Care award for the long term care facility awarded by the state Dept. of Aging and the Office of Long-Term Living; the respiratory therapy department was named a quality respiratory care provider by the American Association for Respiratory Care; and the FCMC Angels were given high honors by the American Cancer Society and were presented with the State Corporate Excellence award for their efforts in Relay for Life.

Hawkins, in talking about the economy, also said that he did not foresee any major improvement over the next year and said FCMC will continue to look for ways to cut costs and have, in fact, reduced staffing by about 4-5 percent.

Outgoing Board Chair, Lynn Palmer announced the re-election of FCMC board members, Timothy McGarvey, Denny Buterbaugh and Tammy Bard for 3- year terms. Two board members, Nancy Younker and Larry Palmer are retiring having reached the mandatory term limits. Younker served for 19 years, while Palmer served for 17. Mandatory term limits now are two consecutive 3-year terms while board officers can only serve two 2- year terms.

The retiring member’s seats will be filled by new board members, Timothy Hann and Heather Sigel.

Dr. Jack Steele, DMD, was also named to FCMC’s nominating committee effective Jan. 1, 2012.

The Fulton County Medical Center Board of Directors for 2012 includes: William C. Dovey Jr., chairman, Lynn H. Palmer, Sharon E. Martin, M.D., PhD, Timothy R. McGarvey, treasurer, William L. Milroth, M.D., Tamela M. Bard, secretary, James A. Bothell, vicechair, Sandra Land, Denny Buterbaugh, Tonya K. House, Sonny Weicht III, Sigel and Hann.

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

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