Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County

ROCK SPRINGS — Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County continues to make strides.

The hospital shredded about $7 million off its budget, going from $93.9 million in fiscal year 2016-17 to $86.7 million in 2017-18, MHSC Chief Financial Officer Tami Love said.

The biggest reductions were $4 million in salary and wages and $1.9 million for purchase services, such as using agencies to hire staff and legal fees.

Some positions haven’t been filled, but the hospital is looking at every position “to see if we are running as efficiently as we can without compromising services,” CEO Irene Richardson said.

The numbers are subject to change because the hospital is still going through its audit, which is expected to be finished by the end of the month. Auditors will then present the official numbers to the hospital board at the October meeting, Richardson said.

The 2017 audit came out clean and things are looking good so far with the current audit. For example, the auditors said the hospital’s internal controls are good, she said.

Richardson said internal controls are measures that are instituted “to make sure we follow our policies.”

STABILIZING

The hospital’s days cash on hand continues to climb. It was at 111 as of Friday, up from 88 in June 2017. Days cash on hand measures the number of days an organization could continue paying its average daily cash obligations with no new cash resources becoming available, according to the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Along with an increase in days cash on hand, the hospital’s daily cash expenses dropped about $20,000 a day and it received about a $500,000 increase in collections, or net patient revenue, bringing the total to $1.5 million in gross revenue or what the hospital charges.

“I think we’ve stabilized the facility,” she said.

Richardson said she credits her staff with the improvements.

GOALS

Aside from continuing to improve its finances, the hospital is creating a strategic plan.

In April, the board adopted the plan’s outline, which has several focus areas: patient experience; workplace experience; growth, opportunity and community; and financial stewardship.

A month earlier, in March, the board adopted new mission, vision and values statements, the Rocket-Miner reported.

“Now we’ve got some goals,” Richardson said.

Other hospital objectives include working closer with the University of Utah Health to provide additional services for the patients; using its 2018-19 fiscal year budget as a guide to reach a 1.9 percent operating margin and have 130 days cash on hand in fiscal year 2018-19; and recruiting doctors, especially pulmonologists and pediatricians.

Richardson said the biggest goal is to take care of the patients; meet the needs of the community; retain the physicians; “and continue the services we’re providing.”

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