UAMS Hospital Loses $3.8 Million In First Half Of FY 2012

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Feb. 20, 2012 7:33 am  

UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn attributes the losses to a shortage of business. But he also said a higher percentage of those patients who did come to UAMS didn?t have insurance, a problem other hospitals are encountering.

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Medical Center lost $3.8 million for the six-month period that ended Dec. 31.

During the same period in 2010, the hospital had a net income of $5.86 million. Revenue is also down 1.4 percent to $276.6 million in the first six months of fiscal 2012.

UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn attributed the losses to a shortage of business — not enough patients coming to the hospital. He also said a higher percentage of those patients who did come to UAMS didn’t have insurance, a problem other hospitals are encountering.

“We’re focusing on how we can afford to take care of as many uninsured patients as we currently have, and that’s a real challenge for us,” Rahn told Arkansas Business last week.

The percentage of uninsured patients jumped from 12.2 percent in fiscal 2011 to 15.9 percent in the current fiscal year. That is costing the hospital about $800,000 a month in revenue, said Dick Pierson, vice chancellor for clinical programs and executive director of the UAMS Medical Center.

The unreimbursed care accounted for 16 percent of the hospital’s $550 million budget, while the median for other teaching hospitals across the country was 5.5 percent, Rahn said.

Still, Rahn expects the hospital to "break even" by the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

Plans to cut expenses include eliminating the equivalent of 50-70 positions by reducing overtime and not filling vacant positions, Pierson said. The hospital currently has 3,319 employees.

Rahn said the hospital eked out a profit in January because more patients visited the hospital.

Also, UAMS recently signed a contract that will save it $10 million on supplies during the next two years, according to UAMS CFO Melony Goodhand.

Rahn said UAMS was looking for more money from the state. Gov. Mike Beebe has committed an extra $600,000 for UAMS in his budget proposal, Rahn said, but that hasn’t been approved yet. The state of Arkansas accounts for 9 percent of UAMS’ revenue.

“Every little bit helps,” Rahn said. “But we’re also trying to develop a long-range strategy on how this will be sustainable.”



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