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County hands $1 million check to Greenwood Leflore Hospital board; Horne presents fiscal year audit

Tuesday, January 17, 2023, 5:00 pm News Flash Archive

Today, the Greenwood Leflore Hospital Board of Trustees held its regular monthly meeting.

According to the financial report given by Mrs. Dawne Holmes, the Hospital had an operating loss of $948,828 in December. Operating expenses were $6.14 million, while operating revenue was $5.19 million.

The overall profit was $209,270, due to Greenwood Utilities and the city forgiving $156,531 in utilities for the month of December, and the city giving the hospital an additional $1 million.

Leflore County also presented a check to GLH for $1 million at today's meeting, but that revenue won't show up until the January report, which will be published at the February board meeting.

At the end of December, the cash and equivalents were $4.46 million. Of the cash left, $2.60 million cannot be touched legally because it is in trust to cover the malpractice insurance. That would mean that in reality, at the end of December, there was only $1.86 million in cash left to spend.

In December, the hospital made approximately $103,000 in payments to Medicare for the repayment of the short term loan. The hospital still owes Medicare $5.32 million.

In the first quarter of the current fiscal year, GLH had an overall loss of $3.89 million, even after receiving $1.44 million in extra revenue, coming mostly from gifts from Greenwood Utilities and the city of Greenwood. The operating loss alone for the first quarter was $5.33 million.

Both of these loss figures are substantially higher than for the first quarter of the previous fiscal year.

Horne LLP presented the audit for the 2021-2022 fiscal year which ended September 30, 2022.

The audit, and the presentation made to the board at today's meeting, may be seen here:

2022 Fiscal Year Audit

Horne slide presentation to the hospital board

Horne written presentation to the hospital board

The audit opinion included a paragraph titled "Emphasis of Matter Regarding Going Concern":

. . . the Hospital has suffered recurring losses from operations, declining volumes, and cash used in operating activities that raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern.

This was similar to the warning included in last year's audit.

Other "emphases of matter" included a new accounting standard that had been adopted, and the request by GLH to the Department of Health to put 173 beds in abeyance (meaning a request to lower the number of beds the hospital is licensed to operate from 208 down to 35).

The auditors did not find any material weaknesses in internal controls.

According to the auditors, GLH's annual losses were as follows:

2022 - $17,146,321
2021 - $11,007,848
2020 - $2,502,089

These losses were revised down by Horne LLP from the original losses reported at end of year by the hospital for various accounting reasons.

There was a large increase in pension liability to $18.9 million due to the slump in the investment market compared to the previous year.

According to the auditors, the Medicare trust fund is projected to go bankrupt in 2028, so Medicare is denying more claims, as well as trying to shift patients to Medicare Advantage plans, which pay hospitals less than regular Medicare Parts A and B.

The hospital has only 24 days of operating money available in cash on hand, which is at a critically low level, according to the auditors.

There has been a large shift over three years in the revenue percentage of outpatient services, from 49% to now 60%. That means that inpatient services have shrunk by the same amount. Insurance, including Medicare is driving this trend in order to save money for the insurers. The goal is to get patients in and out of the hospital much quicker to save costs.

According to one report cited, 38 hospitals in Mississippi are in danger of immediate closure.

The board approved extending the lease for Dr. Pearson Windham, who rents space for his ENT practice.

CEO Gary Marchand reviewed the resolution necessary to comply with ARPA rules and to receive grant money from Leflore County. The board approved the resolution, and the county supervisors and Chancery Clerk Johnny Gary presented a check for $1 million in ARPA money to the hospital.

CFO Dawne Holmes described the hospital's application for payments from FEMA for disaster relief related to COVID. She stated it's uncertain whether some or all of the increased payments made for labor during the disaster can be reimbursed under FEMA rules. The claim as submitted by GLH is for $6 million. Gary Marchand praised Mrs. Holmes for her work in getting the claim filed on short notice by the deadline.

The board then went into executive session, with the public and the press excluded for 35 minutes.

The Board of Trustees meeting may be viewed here: GLH Board Meeting, January 17, 2023

To review our reporting on GLH and its financial woes, please see here: Index of Greenwood Leflore Hospital news articles

John Pittman Hey
The Taxpayers Channel

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