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|Riverland ends year with $20,567 loss|
Riverland Medical Center experienced a loss of $20,567 in 2008 the Board of Directors was told by auditor Bobby Miller during its monthly meeting Tuesday.
"It wasn't a great year, but it wasn't a terrible year," Miller said.
Riverland had net patient revenue of $11,752,454 in 2008, its highest in three years with total revenue of $12,574,849.
Expenses were $12,551,378. Interest expense was $66,461 in the red, while interest income was $22,423.
Net assets at the end of the year were $3,252,468.
"Basically it was right at a break-even year," said Administrator Vernon Stevens. "Even though it was a little bit of a loss, we've got some funds coming back through Medicare."
Miller said one problem was that Medicare bad debts and other patient accounts were not sent on a timely basis to the collection agency. He said that caused an inability to claim Medicare bad debts in a timely manner on the cost report which leads to lower reimbursement.
"Otherwise, the hospital may have finished with a $50,000 profit," Miller said.
Stevens said a new employee with prior collection experience has been hired and placed over collections.
"They also process Medicare accounts to insure that accounts are sent to a collection agency in a timely manner," he said.
The audit also recommended Riverland follow the written policy for documenting and authorizing free care, administrative write-offs and discounts to prevent unauthorized or undocumented write-offs in the future, saying a lack of internal control exists over these areas.
"Basically it was one big account where the documentation had been taken care of, but it was misplaced in a wrong folder," Stevens said.
Stevens said policies are being followed as directed and all discounts and write-offs are being documented appropriately.
Riverland had a profit of $39,033 last year, which was a major turnaround from 2006 when the hospital had a $74,000 loss of revenue.
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