Hospital facing $3.4M in losses

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SHERIDAN — Sheridan Memorial Hospital will seek to decrease spending and increase revenue in order to address financial difficulties that have arisen in the first seven months of its fiscal year. The hospital’s year-to-date losses currently total $3.4 million.

“This hospital, operationally, faces some pretty substantial, near-term financial difficulties that we need to take care of,” hospital CEO Mike McCafferty told the board of trustees at its regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday.

McCafferty said income coming into the hospital continues to shrink as the hospital receives lower reimbursements from Medicare, Medicaid and insurance companies.

Addressing why people may not understand how the hospital can lose revenue with the high cost of health care, McCafferty noted that the hospital is currently absorbing approximately $8 million in losses from charity care and bad debt.

“It is critical that we have the ability to put cash in reserves because our industry is extremely volatile,” McCafferty said.

The hospital is working on coding and billing effectively in order to receive proper pay and reimbursement.

Hospital board members and leaders are also seeking ways to decrease spending so that expenses can match income.

Board member Dr. Michael Strahan noted that revenue for January and February was stronger than the months of September through December.

The hospital board also discussed plans to hire a chief medical officer.

This part-time position would serve as leader of the hospital’s Quality Committee to make sure that measures of patient care and safety are adequately tracked and addressed in order to continually improve patient care and drive down the cost of providing that care to patients.

The CMO would also serve as a physician liaison to enable peer review and foster quality control among physicians.

Letters of intent from doctors seeking the CMO position should be received prior to March 15.

In other business, the board discussed initiating a clinical nurse leader role for each department to make the structure of nursing leadership more consistent.

Facilities Manager Rob Forister was approved to be the 2013 Safety Officer.

In other business, Ada Kirven, executive director of the Sheridan Memorial Hospital Foundation, made a presentation about a recent planned gift from the Lorraine S. Husman Trust in the amount of $5 million.

Funds were distributed to the new Cardiac Catheterization Lab and the Watt Dialysis Center. Remaining funds will be invested and the income will be used to maintain services at the dialysis center.

“We have achieved a significant goal with the opening of the cath lab,” Kirven said. “It has the capacity to change lives on an instant basis.”

Immediately following the meeting, the board went into executive session to discuss real estate and personnel.

By |February 28th, 2013|

About the Author:

Hannah Sheely is the digital content editor at The Sheridan Press. She has lived in Colorado and Montana but loves her sunny home state of Wyoming best. She joined The Press staff in February 2013.