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|FMC cuts costs, reels profits|
Cuts in daily operating costs saved Franklin Medical Center almost $3 million last year and profits for the center continued strong through the first two months of this year, according to the institution's latest financial report.
The report, presented last week, showed a $200 a day per patient drop in expenses over a year. In 2007, the recorded expense per patient, per day totaled some $1,600; in 2008, this figure dropped to $1,400, saving the hospital approximately $2.9 million by the end of the year.
In the financial report presented to board members, chief financial officer and acting chief executive officer Robert Boullion indicated admissions for January 2009 and December 2008 generated the best two-month average since the fiscal year-end of April 2007.
"We saw a profit of $76,000 for December and $30,000 for January," said Boullion. "Since January, we have been on the positive side with an increase of $512,000 in the operating fund."
FMC financial records reflect a balance of $5 million in cash and CDs, an amount Boullion said will help during the information technology transition.
"The IT program is scheduled to go online Tuesday," said Boullion, "the process should be fully completed by June 30." The IT conversion is funded by an IT system grant from the Department of Health and Hospitals and administered by the Rural Health Coalition.
Patient traffic was up at the Winnsboro Healthcare Clinic in 2008. The clinic saw an increase of 968 visits for 2008, with a total of 9,371 visits for the year.
The St. Joseph and Newellton clinics saw a decrease in visits, a problem Boullion said will likely improve with the arrival of Dr. Gordon White to the area. White is a family practitioner and will see patients at the St. Joseph and Newellton clinics, a position vacated in April of 2007 by Dr. Dodi Hayford.
The stimulus package recently passed by Congress could include the reinstatement of the uncompensated care costs associated with Medicare and Medicaid. Federal budget cuts to the program in 2008 mandated a new formula to determine how much the healthcare provider is reimbursed. The new formula left hospital administrators worried that the rural healthcare clinics would not be able to afford to treat Medicare and Medicaid patients.
Sheila Mason, director of nursing updated board members with the processes for quality improvements based on real-time data of patient surveys. She presented board members with a sample of the patient survey that covers every aspect of the visit from admissions to dietary.
"These surveys are important because they affect the grant money the hospital receives every year," said Mason.
Mason concluded her report by adding that the new Olympus endoscopy equipment had been delivered and Dr. Randy Tillman was extremely proud to have it.
Board members voted unanimously to accept the chief nursing officer's report.
In legal news, Blake Kramer, legal counsel at FMC, presented board members with legislative revisions to the 403(b) retirement account. Board members voted unanimously to pass a resolution to adopt the revisions as presented.
Robert Boullion is the chief financial officer at FMC and the acting chief executive officer, pending the application process.
The Franklin Medical Center Board of Commissioners is comprised of volunteers appointed by the parish police jury as stewards of the affairs of a community-owned healthcare facility. Board members are, Paul Price, chairman, Michael Wright, vice-chairman, Nick Poulos, Jan Hicks and Danny Warner.