Erlanger at Hutcheson officials reported the hospital’s best financial results since February 2009 at today’s Board of Directors’ Budget and Finance Committee meeting. The announcement marks three consecutive months of improved financial reporting for the North Georgia health system.
Hospital leadership was cautiously optimistic about the financial improvement and noted that July’s earnings from operations were $82,476. Factors contributing to the gain included an increased hospital census - up 42% over last year - and improvements in key service lines, such as labor and delivery and surgeries. Hospital births were up in July 43% compared to last year, and total surgeries were up 18% over last month and 29% over July 2012. Officials also pointed to a higher case index, which means the hospital treated patients of a more serious nature, and an ongoing focus on diligent cost control. The report marks the first time Hutcheson has attained positive financials from operations in over three years.
Including physician clinics, Hutcheson officials reported a consolidated loss of $121,852 in July 2012 as compared to a budgeted loss of $364,541. July earnings reflect a $1.62 million improvement over Hutcheson’s July 2011 financial report. Similarly, hospital officials announced last month a $1.1 million improvement over June 2011 numbers.
Factors attributed to the physician clinic losses were employment and clinic start up expenses not originally included in the FY 2012 budget. “We are actively recruiting and hiring new physicians and medical providers,” stated Roger Forgey, President and CEO of Erlanger at Hutcheson. “The global net was a $121,000 loss for the system, which was substantially lower than expected despite the fact that physician start-up expenses were not budgeted. We expect to see hospital revenues stabilize as a result of these additional services and are very pleased with our progress so far, especially with our positive earnings from operations of over $82,000.” Forgey noted that the hospital has employed four outpatient medical providers since March 2012, with an additional employed pulmonologist to start November 1.