"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What a Difference a Year Makes

Last year at this time, we were struggling financially for a variety of reasons.  Changing the way in which we were doing business (shifting from volume to value), a bad debt / charity care formula that was penalizing WMHS, and increased revenues and savings projections that never materialized were some of the contributing factors to our losses, just to name a few.  Experiencing losses that resulted in a year-end operating loss of $6.5 million was humbling for many of us, but we vowed not to repeat it this fiscal year. 

As a result of better budgeting, negotiating a better bad debt / charity care formula, savings of over $8 million through eliminating over 100 positions and supply costs reductions, WMHS is in a position this year, through March, that has resulted in a dramatic financial turnaround.  Recognizing that we are facing considerable challenges going forward through modernization of the Maryland waiver, continuing to change how we do business, declining revenues from every payor with increasing the recipients of care, increased regulations, the ever increasing bad debt and charity care requirements, recruitment challenges for attracting new physicians and employed staff, increasing requirements for information technology and the list goes on, WMHS has to be good stewards of the results of our YTD financial benefit.  It is also important to appreciate how we got to where we are today, financially.  So, on Thursday of this week, we will be awarding a bonus to our hourly staff, exempt staff, supervisors, managers and directors to say thank you for your efforts in this turnaround.  We have asked a lot of our employees this fiscal year; by awarding a bonus, it is one way to say thank you and to recognize each employee during National Hospital Week and National Nursing Home Week.  Thank you all for job so very well done!

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