Hospital posts profit in November

Gavin Maliska, Staff Writer, Greenwood Commonwealth

Greenwood Leflore Hospital post­ed a profit last month for the first month in two years, CFO Dawne Holmes told the board Tuesday evening.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to report, and I’m very happy to report, that we had a positive bottom line for the month of November,” Holmes said.

The statement of operations for the month shows the hospital took in $9.28 million while spending $9.27 million. With other investment income, the hospital finished the month $89,405 ahead.

Interim CEO Subho Basu said the numbers indicated the hospital was “closing the gap” and attributed the positive monthly outcome to “reduced costs.” “All these people, the physicians and oth­ers, are working tirelessly,” he said.

Board President Sammy Foster noted that although the hospital has lost almost $231,000 for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1, that’s considerably less than the $1.2 million deficit it posted for the same time period in 2017.

“We appreciate what you’ve done and your team for moving us in the right direction,” board member Fred­die White-Johnson told Basu.

Although one month’s figures can’t indicate a trend, board member Mar­cus Banks told Basu he’s received numerous calls praising the admin­istration’s teamwork concept and said, “Right now, we celebrate the wins.”

The financial report followed pre­sentation of the annual audit from Horne, LLP accountants. The audit found no instances of non-compli­ance with the hospital’s fiscal policies and procedures.

“So, what you’re saying is we did everything by the book,” Basu said.

Horne’s Kade Moody said changes in the market and in government programs put hospitals in jeopardy around the country, including four hospitals in Mississippi that declared bankruptcy during 2018.

“The challenges that you experience are not uncommon to the industry,” Moody said. “Across the county, 2016 and 2017 had the lowest margins for the health-care industry in the history of financial record­ing…. You’re not alone in the challenges you face every sin­gle day.”

The audit showed the hos­pital lost $8.9 million during the 2018 fiscal year, compared with a loss of $22.3 million in the previous fiscal year. Most of that difference was the result of how bad debt was recorded.

The hospital wrote off $41.2 million in uncollectable debt in 2017 and reduced that figure to $22.5 million in 2018.

The $8.9 million loss in 2018 reduced the hospital’s net position to $61.2 million at the end of the fiscal term.