Valdosta Daily Times

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December 19, 2013

SGMC’s revenues trending upward

VALDOSTA — South Georgia Medical Center and its affiliates are on an upward revenue trend, said Dr. Ray Snead, interim chief financial officer.

Speaking at the Hospital Authority of Valdosta-Lowndes County board meeting Wednesday, Snead updated administrators and board members on the impact of new accounting procedures and collection efforts, as well as cost-saving measures implemented earlier this year.

“SGMC is on track for a $1 million gain for the year as opposed to the budgeted $2 million loss, with an actual anticipated loss of $700,000,” Snead said, adding that both Smith Northview and the Berrien campus will break even this year as opposed to suffering the losses seen in the last fiscal year.

Earlier this year, SGMC reduced expenses and employee benefits, implemented an early retirement plan and made several key personnel changes. Snead was hired in August to help turn the hospital’s revenue cycle around, and the improvements are beginning to show. SGMC now has a positive operating margin of 2.4 percent as opposed to a negative margin at the end of FY 2012.

Authority member Dr. Lynne Feldman presented the work of the quality-improvement committee, stating that it is working on ways to discourage readmissions within 30 days through several new patient-care initiatives.

“Approximately 20 percent of our patients are back within 30 days, and under the new health-care rules, SGMC doesn’t get reimbursed if they are readmitted within those 30 days. We’ve got to figure out a way to ensure that they are connected with a physician and have a support system once they are released to ensure they remain well at home and don’t need to come back,” Feldman said.

The Authority also recognized December’s Hospital Hero, Nora Campbell, who went above and beyond her job responsibilities as a patient-relations representative. According to her supervisor, Jessica McKinney, Campbell worked with the family of a terminally ill toddler to make their time with the hospitalized child a fuller experience.

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