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Delta hospital hit hard by federal sequester

GREENVILLE — The chief executive of Delta Regional Medical Center says the hospital will be lucky to break even with two months left in fiscal year.

“We are a far cry from where we were last year,” CEO J. Stansel Harvey told the Delta Democrat Times.

Harvey said the hospital was in line to be several million dollars in the black this fiscal year, up from $2.9 million in earnings last year.

Harvey said the across-the-board federal budget reductions known as the sequester that went into effect in March stripped the hospital of $1.4 million coupled with a 2 percent Medicare cut, an impending Disproportionate Share Hospital cut and value-base purchasing.

As of July, DRMC had total net income of $216,196. This time last year, the hospital had earnings of $1.7 million. In March of this year — halfway through the fiscal year — the hospital’s net income stood at $1.7 million.

“We want to make DRMC the regional hospital, and unfortunately, that’s hard to do when we are taking these financial hits,” he said.

DRMC had plans for a long-term replacement and renovation program that was being put into motion this year to modernize hospital equipment and property. The project is now shelved.

Harvey said total patient revenue is up, which is “indicative of activity.”

While patient revenue has increased 3.47 percent, to $289 million this year from $279 million a year ago, deductions from revenue are up 8.42 percent.

“The government is paying us less and less,” Harvey said. “Even though more people are using us, the government is taking more money back.”

So while patient revenues are up and expenses are down 4.2 percent, Harvey said he’s hoping the hospital will break even this year.



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