Archive for Tuesday, April 17, 1990


April 17, 1990


After granting borrowing authority to cover potential shortfalls in operating expenses last month, the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees is expected to get better financial news Wednesday morning during their monthly board meeting.

One piece of good news comes from an audit report that shows the hospital doing better than most hospitals in many operating-expenses categories. The other comes from a financial report that shows cash flow problems have eased, a least temporarily.

Auditors Raymond Custer and Steve Smith of Laventhol & Horwath, Kansas City, Mo., are scheduled to report to the trustees at Wednesday's meeting. The meeting will get under way at 9 a.m. in the Sunflower Room of the hospital, 325 Maine.

The auditors' report on the hospital's 1989 financial statements shows "that LMH is significantly superior to the industry median in most operating categories," according to a report from Dennis Strathmann, assistant executive director for finance at LMH.

LAST MONTH, the trustees authorized administrators to borrow up to $300,000 from another hospital fund to cover operating expenses. The borrowing was meant to cover potential cash-flow problems caused by slow and underpaid Medicare reimbursements from the federal government during February.

But because payments from Medicare and from private insurance companies have come in at a good pace, Strathmann's report states, the hospital experienced a "turn-around" in the cash flow problem. LMH did not have to use the borrowing authority.

Strathmann's report indicates that in March cash received increased $368,000 over February, and hospital bills decreased by $248,000.

Despite this good news, Strathmann also will report that the hospital had to write off $91,000 in Medicare expenses in March, continuing a problem that included $420,000 in Medicare write-offs in February.

AND HE ALSO has prepared a report showing the downward trend since 1985 in the level of Medicare payments to the hospital.

The report, prepared for Wednesday's meeting, shows that while the number of Medicare patients served by the hospital and their average length of stay has remained fairly stable during the last four years, that the amount of reimbursement under the program has decreased substantially.

Trustees also will look at a "patient's bill of rights." Judith McFadden, hospital representative, said creation of the bill of rights was in response to a recommendation from the Joint Committee of Accreditation for Health Care Organizations.

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