George Rohrich, lead administrator at The Memorial Hos--pital, said he's confident hospital finances will rebound in 2006, despite a lackluster first few months.
"Things are turning around," Rohrich said. "I'm still confident that we'll have a break even or positive year.
The board approved: • An authorization for Chief Financial Officer Roger M. White to sign and submit the 2005 Medicare and Medicaid cost report
• A transfer of $650,000 from a new hospital account to its operating account. The funds will be used to pay Medicare costs.
• Medical staff bylaw changes relating to peer review and active staff membership. Employees will be informed of their upcoming reviews. A quorum shall be defined as active staff members attending a regular staff meeting.
• Medical staff appointments for doctors Mark Griffin, Sean Griggs, James Haden and Rodney Lange. Board members Sue Lyster and Melton Sullivan voted against Griggs' appointment.
• Purchasing a $3,105 well counter for nuclear medicine.
• Scheduling a special board meeting at 5:30 p.m. June 14 to hear reports from legal counsel.
"This will get better this year."
His comments came shortly after TMH Chief Financial Officer Roger M. White told the board of trustees that the hospital has received about $1.5 million less gross revenue than what was budgeted for the first four months of the year.
Like Rohrich, White said he is confident the hospital's finances will improve as the year progresses.
"They are moving in a good direction," White told the board. "It's just taking some time to turn them around."
If the hospital's revenue stream continues to fall short of its targeted budget, it could lead to a net operating loss for the year. Coming off a positive 2005 -- the first in several years that the hospital did not show an operating loss -- no one among the TMH staff wants to see that happen, Rohrich said.
In 2003, the hospital had a net operating loss of $500,000, Rohrich said. In 2004, the hospital had a net operating loss of nearly $400,000.
Rohrich credited then-staff and administrators for making adjustments in 2005, when the hospital had an operating surplus of $200,000.
"It's almost a three-quarters of a million dollar shift," Rohrich said. "That's a significant amount. A positive movement is happening.
"The staff and the board should be congratulated."
Rohrich said the year started slow for TMH, with slower business, and thus, lower revenues, in January and February. Business picked up in March and April, he said.
Rohrich said the hospital continues to make adjustments to its operating budget to help offset the current decrease in revenue.