Community Hospital’s finances improve

  • Thu Aug 1st, 2019 11:30am
  • News

Through the first six months of the year, Grays Harbor Community Hospital’s financial position is dramatically improved from a year ago, but the operation is still running in the red.

Through June, the hospital had a net operating income of minus $99,737. That compares to minus $4.9 million at the end of June last year.

The numbers were reported at the Hospital District 2 meeting earlier in the week.

The figures for June alone, were minus $133,091 this year, compared to minus $568,761 in June last year.

Chief Financial Officer Niall Foley said the improvement is because of several factors, including administrative and legislative work the hospital management did to increase Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement rates. Because of legislation written by local hospital managers, the state reimburses Grays Harbor and two other hospitals in the state, including one in Port Angeles, at 150 percent of what the normal reimbursement rate would be.

And because the district reduced the number of beds for overnight stays, the hospital district was approved for a status that allows it to charge the government “at-cost” for some Medicare fees, meaning what it cost the hospital to provide them, not a predetermined rate set by the government.

Hospital CEO Tom Jensen and Foley worked on those changes for several years.

Foley estimated that the new rates would bring in an additional $3 million in revenue per year.

He said only about 15 percent of the hospital’s patients have private, commercial insurance. The rest have government insurance or none at all.

The hospital also had dozens of layoffs last year and implemented what it says are more efficient operating procedures as a result of working with consultants. And it has outsourced its billing services. That also resulted in layoffs and hospital officials expect it will mean more efficient accounts receivables numbers.