Hospital Losses Easing

CT Scanner Remains Offline

WINNSBORO – While Fairfield Memorial Hospital continues to struggle financially, Tim Mitchell, the hospital’s Chief Financial Officer, reported to its Board of Directors last week that the losses are trending downward.

Mitchell told the Board during their Nov. 22 meeting that the hospital had experienced an operating loss of $88,155 for the month of October, which included $44,363 of bad debt. But, he added, that was a $36,671 decrease from the operating loss experienced in September and a $158,000 decrease from losses in October of 2015.

Average daily revenues were down $51,688 in October, he said, which was a slight improvement over September, when revenues were down $56,456. In October 2015, Mitchell said, those revenues were down $58,477.

Year-to-date expenses are down $122,646, Mitchell reported, while year-to-date operating revenue is down $210,000.

Mitchell said the hospital had a deficit of $18,283 in earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation during the month of October, which he said was a marked improvement over last year.

“It is a significant departure from where we were a year ago when our deficit was $151,745,” Mitchell told the Board.

MRI/CT

Hospital CEO Suzanne Doscher told the Board that Fairfield Memorial’s CT scanner was still out of operation. A replacement part for the scanner was expected to be delivered from Germany this week, Doscher said. The part would have to be customized to fit the aging machine, she said, and it was hoped the scanner would be back in operation in early December.

“This has been very painful,” Doscher said. “We’re very unhappy with it, but the service rep has been here day after day trying to fix it.”

Doscher told the Board that the scanner was “an old machine that needs to be replaced,” but the cost to do so, she added, was around $500,000.

Last March, the hospital asked County Council for a little more than $305,523 to catch up on maintenance for the CT scanner and the MRI machine. Council ultimately approved $200,000.

The hospital’s prior service contract for the CT scanner had lapsed as of last March when payments on the contract could not be kept up.

At last week’s meeting, the Board approved $88,500 for the service contract on the MRI machine, but that will not include refilling the cryogen. Mitchell told the Board that the cryogen had needed a refill prior to the new service agreement taking effect and would not be included in the current contract. Future refills, he said, would be included. The hospital will have to pony up $12,000 for the refill, Mitchell said.