During the month of September, total expenses exceeded total revenue by $315,000 for the not-for-profit system, essentially due to $6.7 million in charity and bad debt coverage.
“Our expenses are close to what they were last year,” Houston Healthcare Chief Financial Officer Sean Whilden told board members who were meeting at Houston Medical Center in Warner Robins. “But we’re losing revenue due to charity and bad debt write-offs.”
Whilden said 11.3 percent of every dollar spent at the county-wide medical complex is at no cost to the patient compared to 8.3 percent last year. Houston Healthcare receives no tax dollars from Houston County.
The system’s total income continues to exceed overall expenses by $9.4 million for the year, although the margin is down some $6 million compared with last year. Charity and bad debt write-offs total almost $58.5 million so far this year.
Patient activity for the year at Houston Medical Center remains strong with an average daily in-patient census of 176 and surgical procedures exceeding 6,000. Emergency department visits are at 50,416 through the end of September while out-patient visits, including med-stop totals, are 37,599 for the year.
The average Perry Hospital daily census is 18 while surgical patients total 697 for the year. Emergency department visits are at 11,243.
David Campbell, Perry Hospital administrator, announced a two-week delay in completion of a 9-bed expansion at the south Houston facility. The project will convert most patient rooms to private suites.
“Our estimated completion date is now Dec. 14,” Campbell told the board. “We plan to move in the following week.”
The completion date for work on the physician’s lounge and reception area remains January of next year.
At Houston Medical Center, work on the emergency department entrance and physician parking lot is underway. A status report issued at the meeting indicated that footings for the new entrance canopy are installed and site work is ongoing. Phase one completion is scheduled for the end of December.
The second phase of the project – expansion of the Houston Heart Institute’s main cath lab – will begin in January.