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Hospitals prosper despite charity care and challenges

Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 5:24 PM
Last updated Friday, Aug 24, 2012 1:51 AM
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Despite challenging economic times and some financial hits, both University Hospital and Medical College of Georgia Hospital and Clinics showed off strong balance sheets Thursday while providing high levels of indigent care.

In back to back meetings, University’s board and the boards that govern MCG health system saw a rosier than expected financial picture.

Through the first seven months of its fiscal year, University was $2.5 million ahead of budget in income from operations at nearly $8.9 million, more than $6 million ahead of where it was at this time last year, said Chief Financial Officer Dave Belkoski.

It is seeing “growth in both the inpatient and outpatient side,” he said.

Yet University has provided more than $13.1 million in indigent and charity care so far this year, slightly behind or even with the pace last year, when it provided $28.8 million.

MCG health system ended its fiscal year June 30 with a margin of over $22 million, $9 million more than it budgeted. The strong bottom line happened despite getting $6 million less in indigent payments from Georgia and not receiving $4 million in graduate medical education support from the state of South Carolina, which cut out the “border hospitals” such as MCG that treat a lot of South Carolina patients, said Chief Financial Officer Greg Damron.

“Maybe from a political standpoint it was a little easier to make that cut,” he said.

“That’s $10 million that disappeared during the year from two different states,” said David Hefner, the executive vice president for clinical affairs.

The health system was helped by coming in $10 million under budget in salaries and wages, something officials have been consciously trying to reduce, and by seeing more complex, sicker patients. Those patients tend to bring in higher reimbursements and are invaluable for an academic health center like MCG, Damron said.

“Those are teaching cases and they allow us to attract faculty who want to come here to do those cases,” he said.

MCG provided more than $35 million in indigent and charity care.

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OhWell
326
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OhWell 08/23/12 - 07:02 pm
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Maybe one of your CFO's could

Maybe one of your CFO's could ride to Burke County to show them how it is done.

Riverman1
87586
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Riverman1 08/24/12 - 05:21 am
2
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University, see what happens

University, see what happens when you make the physicians work for you? That place has been making money for decades like it was the U.S. Mint.

Sweet son
10817
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Sweet son 08/24/12 - 12:24 pm
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Don't Get Sick!

I don't know exactly what Riverman meant when he mentioned "making the physicians work for you" but that is exactly what the so called "hospitalists" do; work for the hospital. They work something like weekly shifts, you have never heard their names, you can't figure out who your doctor is if the shift changes and you can't get information about yourself or your loved one. So like I said, don't get sick!

This in regards to a University Hospital experience.

Bulldog
1333
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Bulldog 08/24/12 - 12:39 pm
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Check again!

Take a look at Barnwell County Hospital, long since bankrupted! Burke County Hospital aka Burke Medical Center, can't pay it's bills. McDuffie Regional, sold to UH because they were going under... Candler County, Screven County and Jenkins County facilities in the same boat! People in rural areas around Augusta better hope they don't get injured or come down sick...

Riverman1
87586
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Riverman1 08/24/12 - 01:13 pm
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Sweet Son, sorry about your

Sweet Son, sorry about your experience and I do remember you relating that experience before, but a hospitalist is an in-house physician to manage acutely ill patients. It's starting to be the norm all over the country. Your physcian should be the one making decisions about your case though.

Sweet son
10817
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Sweet son 08/24/12 - 08:49 pm
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@Riverman

Thanks for the comment. It just gets emotional when the care concerns a loved one!

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