March 21, 2018
NavigantHealthcare, a for profit, national healthcare consulting firm recently issued a multi part report written in large part by Navigant employees. The Navigant report primarily studied the worseningsituation for rural hospitals and the impact on rural communities. The focus of the report showed that hospitalexpenses were growing faster than income, leading to a downturn in profits. FranklinCounty Memorial Hospital (hereinafter “FCMH”) Administrator, Mike R. Bolewarepointed out that while we appreciate Navigant pointing out the many challengesof rural hospitals, not giving a complete and thorough report of some hospitalsis damaging and makes it more difficult to provide services.
According to Navigant’sreport, there are 64 rural hospitals in Mississippi and 31 are at “highfinancial risk”. 19 of the 31, aregrouped together as “Highly Essential”. Five of those 19 are considered “Critically Essential” to their communityit serves. FCMH does appear onNavigant’s report as a high financial risk in the “Critically Essential”category.
“Iagree that the FCMH is critically essential to this service area based upon each identified factor: trauma level designation;vulnerable populations; geographic isolation; and economic impact on thecommunity,” explained Boleware.
As of this monthFCMH current assets are up by 1.3 million and liabilities are down by 300thousand. We currently have 45 days of cash on hand and we have no vendorinvoices over 30 days old which means we are 100% current on our bills.
FCMH administrationand staff note that many portions of the Navigant Healthcare study are alreadyin place at FCMH. Updated ElectronicHealth Records; new telemetry equipment; recruitment of Doctors; value basedhealth insurance contracts; accountable care organization initiatives areactive. The changing role of both stateand federal government in healthcare; the use of technology in treatment andscheduling; and diminished demand for hospital care compounded with Medicare,Medicaid and commercial insurance cuts with rising cost pose challenges for allhospitals. “FCMH will meet thechallenges,” said Boleware. “Ourhospital is invested in the community and the community is invested in our hospital.”