"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.

Friday, August 23, 2013

It Was a Very Good Year

At today's Board Finance Committee, Kim Repac, our CFO, provided a report on the FY 2013 Year End Review.  Wow!  Our admissions were down 774, which under our new payment methodology is a good thing.  Our Case Mix Adjusted Length of Stay was also down to 4.09 days.  The way we use Observation Beds has improved and we saw an 8% decrease over last year.  Our regulated outpatient visits were down by 10.5%, which is also a good thing; and our ED visits were up, but ED admissions were down by 4.5%.  Our readmission rate continues to come down each year.  We saw dramatic improvement in our potentially preventable conditions producing a reward of $1.78 million out of a potential of $2 million putting WMHS in the top 10% for all Maryland hospitals.  We also saw improvements in the financial performance related to physician practices by $900,000.  Overall, we had a net income from operations of $10,861,000 or a 3.6% operating margin and a total revenue over expense of $15,151,919 or a 5% total margin.  What a difference a year makes.  Now in fairness, we cut supply and labor expenses by almost $7 million during the fiscal year, along with convincing the Cost Review Commission to revise their formula related to averted bad debt, which cost us millions during Fiscal Years 11 and 12.  They also agreed to provide us with a one-time settlement of over $2 million based on a flawed formula on Medicaid expansion.  In summary, we turned around our financial condition from a FY'12 loss of almost $2 million in total revenue to over $15 million; we dramatically improved our Quality Based Reimbursement; our patient satisfaction results improved and we reduced admissions and readmissions along with our ancillary use rates for the third consecutive year. It was a very good year and hopefully one that we can continue to repeat year after year.


  1. P1

    I have had a run of poor health for a while and as I have been a patient, most especially in the ED more then I care to, of course, I can see an over all settling in by the staff and better efficiency along the lines of better diagnostics and faster more thorough chart reviews. I can see where that has had an overall affect on shorter hospital stays and less often returning patients. The treatment I have received by Dr. Lamm and Dr. May has been better then my own PCP as I can tell they are able to quickly review my charts and familiarize themselves well with my many conditions and treat me effectively and I very much appreciate that they ask me what has worked well for me or what has not and are able to cater my care to my specific needs at the moment and get me quickly on my way to healing with these recent sudden onset events. I was raised to only utilize the ED when it was an emergency, of course, and as I find it harder and harder to get a quick appointment with my PCP and I am most often told to go to the ED instead, especially if my symptoms worsen rapidly. I must say I have a confidence now that I did not feel at first after the initial transition to the new facility. I am very impressed with the protocol in place as a patient, and having been in management a better part of my productive working life, the keen management style is impressive to say the least. I very often read your blog. I will one day require cervical fusion and I want to know that what ever hospital I finally choose will be one that is comforting to me as well as capable and competent, and I am starting to feel that trust building due to the marked change that only comes from listening to patients well and closely analyzing cost efficiency while increasing the quality of health care.

  2. P2

    I would like to suggest you write the local paper as well, if you have not and forgive me if you did and I missed it, and share a brief synopsis of these wonderful changes that are being made. I expect with the new facility that you will be attracting even finer doctors such as Dr. Lamm and Dr. May to further compliment your excellent staff and become the leader in this entire area that we need while the country transitions now into a new arena of healthcare that you all seem more then competent to be the example of while so many other institutions, politicians, and citizens, seem resistant to this needed change. I know that will not be an easy task what so ever, but with your numbers in FY2012 in comparison to FY2013, and the scrutiny of the Medicaid formula and resulting credit, it is again great to observe you have an excellent staff and impeccable leadership. My hat is off to W.M.H.S., and as usual I will still speak my voice as the consummate observer, and I will equally always give credit where credit is due. I like your style and transparency, and going back in time I appreciated your factual reporting on the concerns with Bath Salts that were epidemic at the time and not reported to the extent you shared anywhere else at all! I started a petition, addressed a local meeting in person siting your statistics amoung other specific details of the deadly molecular structures skirting the federal state and local laws, wrote and was published in the paper and wrote a blog entry as well that has been more widely read then my published article at the U.S. Department of Energy (Google; Swygert HRDC) and I believe your blog was at least one instrumental part in a victory we should all be proud of! Your transparency was a major catalyst along with friends stories of family members ruing their lives with the

  3. P3

    abuse of these drugs. I sincerely hope perhaps you will entertain writing an entry of the after effects of the laws passage and if it has helped as I pray it has, and what the statistics are now in relation to their usage. I earned a degree in Science with a Major in Police in Police Science so these figures are of great interest to me as I hope we can always be so collectively efficient locally when any need arises. Your leadership shines and I hope one day to volunteer and offer back smiles and caring service as has been offered to me when ill. Sorry to be so long winded, but the expertise I have received while at the Ed has had me slowly back to a more productive level I was dearly missing. Cumberland is a better city and a healthier city with your experts and professionals caring for us all. If you have a day to blog about the one item I mentioned earlier and another day to blog about volunteer help desired and requirements and contact information, I would gladly share that and make myself available at any capacity from time to time. Thanks for your consideration in publishing this reply and offering a space where we may all interact. Sincerely, John "Stephen" Swygert