The Crawford Memorial Hospital Board heard good and bad financial news and took the next step toward establishing a wound care clinic Wednesday.
The annual audit report was presented to the board by Mark Dallas of the KEB auditing firm. CMH again received an "unmodified" or "clean" audit, meaning all its accounting practices were in full compliance with the law.
Revenues were up, Dallas said, but so were expenses and accounts receivable.
Patient revenues for the year totaled $50.7 million, up from $49.9 million in fiscal 2018. Bad debts, however, hit $3.1 million and expenses were up $4.4 million. As a result, CMH posted a loss of almost $1 million for the year.
Most of the expenses were connected to switching the hospital's medical records system to Cerner at the end of the last calendar year. Such major changes usually have an impact on the bottom line.
"They've expensive, they consume a lot of time and there are always problems," Dallas explained.
On the other hand, CMH has high net equity and about $5 million in cash it can draw on.
"You're in a very liquid position and have a very strong balance sheet," he added.
Chief Financial Officer Al White added the hospital posted strong financial numbers in September.
Net revenues of more than $4.4 million compared favorably to budget projections and to income for September 2018. Revenues for the year to date are a little behind last year, but still doing well, overall.
White added CMH is now expected to save $620,000 in bond payments over the next 11 years because it refinanced 2010 bonds earlier this year.
Also Wednesday, the board approved a contract with consultant Kathleen Schaum, an expert in wound care clinics.
Chief Executive Officer Doug Florkowski explained wound clinics operate under very different rules from what CMH is used to as a rural access hospital. Schaum is familiar with these rules and has set up wound clinics around the country. She has helped hospitals establish protocols and ensured they're fully compliant with all applicable regulations.
The clinic would focus on wounds that do not heal. These include ulcerated sores caused by diabetes and other diseases, stasis ulcers, pressure sores, ostomies and surgical incisions that refuse to heal.
The board also renewed contracts with Lincolnland Hospice and Hospice of Southeast Illinois and paid the final $171,200 due on the $1.8 million in renovations recently completed at CMH.
Board members also learned a nurse practitioner has been hired for planned walk-in clinics and a second is being sought. They were also told CMH will offer a flu shot clinic for employees of Pepsi in Robinson and hopes to expand to other companies later.