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Potential hospital cuts looming

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Facing the loss of more than $14 million in funding from the previous fiscal year, Medical College of Georgia Hospital and Clinics could be seeing personnel cuts, said Dr. Ricardo Azziz, the chairman of the boards that oversee the health system.

Azziz  Special
Special
Azziz

The health system’s board and a board that oversees University Hospital held separate meetings Thursday, providing a rare glimpse into two of Augusta’s largest entities that are facing increased financial pressure.

The board of Georgia Health Sciences Health System saw that the health system ended the fiscal year June 30 with more than $20 million in surplus, $6.7 million more than it had budgeted, said Patricia Brownlow, the chief financial officer for Physicians Practice Group, who presented the financial picture.

That included $14 million, however, in previous-year revenue that will not recur this fiscal year, and new projects are adding $8 million in depreciation and interest this fiscal year, she said.

That is set against a trend of declining state support – the university has been cut $40 million over the past three years – decreasing revenues and increasing expenses, Azziz said.

That means cuts and efficiencies have to be found, he said.

“The single largest expense of any health system is people,” he said. “So if you are trimming expenses you will have to look at people. The question that people have asked me is what is the extent and how much. If I knew, we would be telling you.”

The system will try to do it in a strategic and targeted way.

“But we also understand our responsibility to the community to make sure that it is minimized to the extent possible,” Azziz said. “One of the ways of dealing with increasing expenses and decreasing revenue to meet the goals of the state is to partner with other health systems, with our colleagues, to try to maximize our benefits.”

Investments in key areas for clinical growth and partnerships such as the increased residency training at University Hospital also are expected.

For example, there will be an increased number of residents based at University, which had long been a teaching hospital for MCG until several years ago, when a restriction on hours and other factors caused MCG to pull back those slots.

University has about five slots that have full funding and 10 more that are partly funded, said Dr. William Farr, the chief medical officer for University. The number of slots is still being worked out, he said. In addition to helping train new doctors, that could benefit University, Farr said.

“It allows us to look at their best trainees and for their best trainees to look at us,” he said.

MCG Hospital and Clinics isn’t the only one anticipating a financial blow.

University’s management is closely watching a federal deficit reduction super-committee that needs to come up with $1.5 trillion in cuts, much of them in entitlement spending, said University CEO Jim Davis.

“Medicare is the biggest of them all,” he said, adding that it accounts for more than half of University’s patient revenue. “There’s no way they’re going to get where they need to go (without touching Medicare).”

If Congress does not enact the committee’s recommendations by Dec. 23, an automatic $1.2 trillion cut kicks in, but Medicare cuts under that situation are capped at 2 percent, Davis said.

That still means $2.5 million less for University on top of $10 million slated to go away under the Affordable Care Act, he said.

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dickworth1
954
Points
dickworth1 08/25/11 - 06:03 pm
0
0
PPg should be doing well when
Unpublished

PPg should be doing well when they charge 142.00 to get a piece of wax out of your ear, plus 150.00 consultation fee, and over 100.00
to tell you to roll over from your left side to your right side. This is absurd and the doctors eye and ear should be exposed for over charging.

Just My Opinion
5928
Points
Just My Opinion 08/25/11 - 07:15 pm
0
0
Not that anyone cares

Not that anyone cares anymore, but doctors are fighting to make the money they once did. Along those lines, I had a colonoscopy a few years ago at a local hospital, and my anesthesia for the procedure was administered by an RN. Just had a repeat colonoscopy done a few weeks ago, and this time my anesthesia was administered by a CRNA..that's a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthesist (which is an RN who has a license to give anesthesia under the guidance of an anesthesiologist, who was never in the room!). The difference in the bills were staggering, and the reason was the use of the CRNA, which was not needed! I questioned my gastroenterologist about it and he said the hospital forces him to use that anesthesia group! Doctors helping doctors!

Sweet son
10786
Points
Sweet son 08/25/11 - 07:17 pm
0
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Dr. Axxix should have save

Dr. Axxix should have save the money used to remame "his" institution to offset some of the dwendling revenues. We look forward to him spending money that he does not have on the Laney Walker greenway. He must be kin to our other president. If people and salaries are the main focus he might want to look in the mirror! He is not good for the Medical College of Georgia and I don't mean his school of medicine. I mean the hospital and the five schools that make up the institution.

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 08/25/11 - 07:19 pm
0
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A new medical school in

A new medical school in Athens, new dental school, new dorms, and new name. Now people will end up getting laid off. "'The future of GHSU begins today", you just won't be working here.

Sweet son
10786
Points
Sweet son 08/25/11 - 07:35 pm
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Just My Opinion, I am with

Just My Opinion, I am with you!!! I also had a colonscopy recently and already knew before I got there that there would be at least two players involved who were NOT necessary. Same happened with lithrotrypsy. I did NOT need an anesthesiologist or CRNA for either procedure. Probably peed both of them off when I told them I didn't need them. Got a bill anyway. Guess they have to whittle out a living anyway they can. Oh by the way, Doctors Hospital for the litho was $18,000. Incredible!!!

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 08/25/11 - 09:20 pm
0
0
The governmental teats at

The governmental teats at which Augusta has been suckled since WWII are being atrophided. First, SRS; then, GHSU; thirdly, Fort Gordon.

Ironically, Billy supports a governmentally-subsidized form of "free enterprise" for himself but promlotes the competitive model for his creditors, competitors and everyone else.

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 08/25/11 - 09:21 pm
0
0
atrophied, not atrophided

atrophied, not atrophided

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 08/25/11 - 09:22 pm
0
0
OOPS: promotes not promlotes.

OOPS: promotes not promlotes. My fingers are bucking

freespeach
4
Points
freespeach 08/25/11 - 09:30 pm
0
0
So what if people are getting
Unpublished

So what if people are getting laid off. At least we got that new name! Anyone who doesn't understand this is just not cool!

galaxygrl
1270
Points
galaxygrl 08/25/11 - 09:36 pm
0
0
They refused my mother a

They refused my mother a heart monitor and doctor's visit because she owed them money. She was paying them 3 times a month on different bills and they couldn't find it. It took them 6 months to sort it out and now she has a blood clot next to her heart. If all the attorneys in town weren't cool, I'd call one of them.

copperhead
1035
Points
copperhead 08/25/11 - 09:51 pm
0
0
When will they justify $32.00

When will they justify $32.00 for 2 tylenol tablets? Or a doctor's fee of $375.00 for saying good morning?

allhans
24147
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allhans 08/26/11 - 01:49 am
0
0
"of $10 million slated to go

"of $10 million slated to go away under the Affordable Care Act, he said."
Obama care is cutting Medicare? The Democrat Congress cut Medicare?.. Nobody would listen.
That what I mean!

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 08/26/11 - 03:56 am
0
0
(A)llhans, Get used to the

(A)llhans,

Get used to the sound of cutting. It'll be with us for some time. This economic situation is not the typical cyclical one but is structural and will require a much longer and more painful recovery process than does the typical non-finance-related recession. I prefer the term "Age of Rationalization" to the term "Era of Austerity." We will need to become much more thoughtful about our personal and governmental economic decisions. The "Era of Impulsive Consumption" is over.

agustinian
721
Points
agustinian 08/26/11 - 07:52 am
0
0
Dr. A, Maybe you should start

Dr. A,
Maybe you should start by cutting back on the number of administrators you hired at high salaries, that don't contribute one dime to the bottom line. Just a thought.

TK3
562
Points
TK3 08/26/11 - 08:01 am
0
0
They knew they were millions

They knew they were millions short before they even made the big buck deals to expand so it is really hard to feel sorry for them. I'm sure patients will be bleed dry to help make up for MCG and the bosses stupid mistakes.

TrulyWorried
15536
Points
TrulyWorried 08/26/11 - 08:42 am
0
0
What a lovely picture of

What a lovely picture of Dr.Azziz - he looks like he is really enjoying himself - money spent on that new name (dumb from the word go)
would have kept everyone working and as for messing with the street, leave it alone - things are working just fine with level headed drivers at the wheel. Wish they'd offered that doc a lucrative salary elsewhere so that he would have left what was working fine - alone!! I'd like to know how much only the name change alone came to - care to tell, Doc?

seenitB4
91139
Points
seenitB4 08/26/11 - 08:51 am
0
0
I guess this is what they

I guess this is what they meant when they said "Think out of the box" & get new ideas......just wonder how the employees feel now..

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 08/26/11 - 08:59 am
0
0
I'll bet they wish they

I'll bet they wish they hadn't spend multiple millions of dollars on a name change - new signs, PR, new letterhead, business cards, web re-design, etc etc.

Another example of govt employees not living in reality. A REAL business person would have seen the recession and said, "you know, now is not a good time to spend money on ridiculous, frivilous things".

Incompetence.

Brad Owens
4749
Points
Brad Owens 08/26/11 - 09:35 am
0
0
Cut admin, not services.

Cut admin, not services.

allhans
24147
Points
allhans 08/26/11 - 09:43 am
0
0
Anytime a person is granted

Anytime a person is granted POWER..he will surely use it.

commonsense-is-endangere
43
Points
commonsense-is-endangere 08/26/11 - 09:49 am
0
0
Tons of employees..few full

Tons of employees..few full paying patients....

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
33
Points
Crime Reports and Rewards TV 08/26/11 - 10:35 am
0
0
Chillen wrote; I'll bet they

Chillen wrote; I'll bet they wish they hadn't spend multiple millions of dollars on a name change - new signs, PR, new letterhead, business cards, web re-design, etc etc.

Some Doctors in our group of over 350,000 are very concerned about the staffs of any docs being cut back. If Azziz would scuttle the name change and leave the staffs alone he will go down as a competent head of a major facility. If he does not he may go down as an INCOMPETENT head of a major facility in the Minds of hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of Thousands physicians nationwide. This is what we call a career decision. He’s making decisions that WILL decide his career. Hope he doesn’t get back out into the market anytime soon, he may find himself blacklisted or worse IF critical staffs are cut because of this completely unnecessary & EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE name change.. This name change is tantamount to prescribing breast augmentation for a kidney patient.

Sweet Tooth
2
Points
Sweet Tooth 08/26/11 - 12:35 pm
0
0
According to Bill Farr at

According to Bill Farr at University Hospital, the UH will have their hospital staffed by the cream of the crop from MCG (oops, my bad - it's now Gazoo).

So where do the bottom feeders among Gazoo students and residents who don't make the UH cut get their training? By the way, the term bottom feeders is widely used by Gazoo deans to refer to their academically challenged students.

They are trained at Gazoo, of course. Taking care of the state's poorest residents. Learning from doctors who really want to teach. Learning from doctors who value health care over personal income. And learning from doctors who really care about their patients, regardless of their ability to pay.

The students and residents labeled as unfit to go to UH will see and learn far more about the real world of health care than their peers who will become the next generation of Dr. Farr's University Hospital concierge doctors.

Would you choose a top of the class UH doctor who read about a tumor s(he) referred to MCG, or the guy (gal) in the middle of the class who actually operated on a dozen of them?

comet2u
28
Points
comet2u 08/26/11 - 01:20 pm
0
0
The wonders never cease at Mr

The wonders never cease at Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium...How can you be president and CEO (w/ MBA) and not know "the extent and how much"?

harley_52
24029
Points
harley_52 08/26/11 - 01:56 pm
0
0
I wouldn't let the

I wouldn't let the differences between that snooty University Hospital and MCG bother me too much. They're all pretty short term as Obamacare gets closer and closer.

If democrats stay in power people will soon be looking back with nostalgia at the good ol' days for both hospitals. Doctors will be told where to practice, in what specialty (if any) they will be trained and allowed to practice, what hours they will work, and what salaries they'll be paid.

Socialism doesn't work any better for medical care than it does for any other market segment, or for the economy as a whole. That lesson has been learned repeatedly, throughout history, and we're about to learn it all over again. If you vote democrat.

TruthJusticeFaithHope
229
Points
TruthJusticeFaithHope 08/26/11 - 03:29 pm
0
0
Brad Owens... you offer

Brad Owens... you offer common sense ... most every time that I read your posts. Maybe, more like uncommon sense. As you allude to...
Admin seldom gets cut... yet, Azziz had the brilliant ideal of spending multiple millons of dollars $$$ on changing a name thet everyone knows... the signage, letterhead, every logo, what a farce. And, they had a positive $20 million dollar bottom line last year... Wow, if only that money could be used to help people. How wonderful would that be ?

ispyon
4
Points
ispyon 08/26/11 - 04:15 pm
0
0
Check out the new Dental

Check out the new Dental School-Wow-I hear the chandelier cost a couple million dollars. I mean really! There goes some more $$$.

Sweet Tooth
2
Points
Sweet Tooth 08/26/11 - 04:54 pm
0
0
Back in the Tedesco as

Back in the Tedesco as President days, the faculty were given offices in the old student dorms, labeled as Residence I and Residence II. When they complained about the name, he recycled the name and the signs from two other buildings that were demolished to build the CMC.

So today MCG (opps, Gazoo) has two buildings labeled Pavilion I and Pavilion II. Cost to the taxpayer, nothing more than we had already spent on the building signs, and it kept a few employees, and a
stepladder busy for almost a whole day!

Now, that was a COOL move.

Ranks right up there with former MCG President Dr. Steinfeld having all of the cigarette vending machines hauled off campus over a weekend. Oh, I forgot, but then we then had to buy him a mansion, and pay for custom drapes and bed covers. And then he decided that none of the MCG orthopaedic surgery faculty were capable to perform his back surgery , so he left town for the surgery.

Tedesco gets the MCG is COOL vote from me. Assisi and Steinfeld do not.

member
67
Points
member 08/26/11 - 06:05 pm
0
0
there were a few layoffs

there were a few layoffs today at UH

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