Central Peninsula General Hospital has put a temporary freeze on hiring and placed limits on overtime and travel as its patient census remained down for the third consecutive month, its finance officer told directors Thursday afternoon.
"Revenues are not so hot," said Edward C. Burke, vice president and chief financial officer.
As he read through the monthly financial report, Burke noted that while in-patient revenues were off by about $320,000 for the month of March, out-patient revenues were up by approximately $350,000.
Because deductions for Medicare, Medicaid and charity care services missed their budgeted amounts for the month, however, net operating revenue was down nearly $600,000 from the budgeted $4.1 million.
No matter what the hospital charges for services to Medicare and Medicaid patients, the two programs only pay a set rate. The difference between the charges and the fixed rate is referred to as "deductions."
On a bright note, Burke told the CPGH Inc. board that, in the last three days, the hospital's patient census has been "bursting at the seams."
On Friday morning, the hospital had 34 in-patients. The average this year has been about 19 or 20.
Burke also said hospital management needs to pay closer attention to expenses than ever before.
In Chief Executive Officer David Gilbreath's report to the board of directors, he expressed continued confidence that the hospital will be able to meet its financial obligation on the planned hospital expansion project, despite the current slump in the number of patients at the hospital.
"I have every expectation that the 0.5 mill rate will be adequate to meet the commitment," Gilbreath said.
"Right now we're down a little, but the sky is not falling."
In other business, the board of directors listened to a brief presentation by Planetree associate Dave Garamella on developing a foundation as a revenue source for CPGH.
Although strictly in the informational stage at this point, the foundation, if approved, would work to establish annual-giving, stewardship and other philanthropic methods for individuals and companies to contribute to the hospital.
Foundation building is an auxiliary function of Planetree, the patient-focused philosophy of medical treatment being implemented at CPGH.
If a hospital foundation is established, the CEO would be expected to champion fund raising and the awareness of philanthropy, administrative teams would need to be involved in the stewardship of gifts received, and a chief development officer would be required to create annual fund-raising goals, direct major-gift activities and plan major donor recognition, Garamella said.
The board also approved its slate of 10 directors, who each serve three-year staggered terms. The appointments include Thomas Boedeker, Alyson Stogsdill, Steven Hoogland, Shirley Gifford, Russell Peterson, Dr. William Kelley, John Hoyt, Loretta Flanders, Diana Zirul and Richard Ross.
Directors also were notified that the Central Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area board has moved its monthly meetings to the third Thursday.
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