FMH finances still sliding; New FMH fund request may be near

WINNSBORO – A presentation of Fairfield Memorial Hospital’s increasingly difficult financial situation during recent Board meetings indicates that the Board may be inching closer to having to ask County Council for a new infusion of funds. So far, a funding request has not been discussed in public meetings. Sources say a funding request could come as early as February.

Meanwhile, the hospital’s December financial statement continued to show how FMH is shrinking since it closed Blue Granite Medical Center, cardiac rehab services, and its home health business. The hospital reported a net operating loss for December of $225,886; this did not include any bad debt recoveries. However, this loss was improved from November which showed a $421,171 operating loss.  Average daily gross revenues also increased slightly, from $32,045 in November to $33,431 in December.

While the hospital has reduced operating costs by $388,115 so far this fiscal year, gross patient service revenues have fallen even faster, by $886,484 during the same period.  Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for the past three months were a negative $634,538.

Remarkably, there was no public discussion about how the hospital could potentially plug this hole in the face of continually shrinking revenues.

However, chief financial officer Timothy Mitchell said he is already seeing positive trends in January as a result of shedding those hospital services which were losing money.  The Finance and Audit Committee also approved a revised fiscal year budget to reflect the changes in hospital operations.

Ground breaking for new ER Feb. 15

The ground breaking for the new Providence Health free-standing emergency department will be Feb. 15 at property located across the street from the Winnsboro Bi-Lo.