Hospital expecting $1M net profit

Improved financials behind expected gain

— Financial projections indicate The Memorial Hospital is on pace to earn $1 million net profit by the end of the year, the hospital's highest profit margin since at least 2002.

"We're tracking ahead of budget for the year and looking good," TMH Chief Financial Officer Barry Bergman told the hospital board Wednesday night.

His comments regarding the hospital's anticipated year-end profit figure softened news that TMH's September financials were "remarkably unremarkable," and registered a slight loss for the month.

The $1 million-plus profit would be the largest gain TMH has made in five years, and about $400,000 higher than the 2006 profit margin. The hospital has shown a profit three of the last four years, and with this year's expected net, would make it four of the last five years.

In 2004 TMH broke even, according to figures.

Samantha Johnston, TMH service excellence officer and spokeswoman, said the addition of two general surgeons - doctors Stanley Pense and Jeffrey Womble - have contributed to the profit increase. Their presence has kept more patients in Craig, she said.

"We're doing more here than we would have before," Johnston said.

Another factor could be a rising level of community confidence in TMH thanks to the implementation of service excellence programs established a year-and-a-half ago, Johnston said.

"We're providing a level of service the community may not have experienced before," the spokeswoman said.

Improved financial performance tied into another segment of Wednesday's board meeting.

Bill Donatelli, a regional vice president for Quorum Health Resources, awarded TMH an award based on the hospital's available cash on hand, or the number of days of expenses TMH could cover with liquid assets.

QHR provides TMH with management advisory services.

TMH edged out numerous other hospitals in surrounding states to win the award.

"Your cash on hand has gone up a lot faster than 160 other hospitals in the" region, Donatelli said.

TMH officials said the award was further evidence that they are being wise with their money.

"That shows we're putting money away," Johnston said. "Every year, we're saving money, essentially."

"We're doing the right things and our money is where it needs to be," said George Rohrich, TMH chief executive officer.

• In other news:

New Web site launch

On Thursday, TMH launched its revamped Web site, www.thememorialhospital.com. The hospital contracted the Steamboat Pilot & Today to design a more user-friendly site, Johnston said.

The new Web site has added features such as career opportunity listings, directories, foundation information, directions, a news and press section and program and service information.

Joshua Roberts can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or jroberts@craigdailypress.com.

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