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Pardee posts gains for first half of budget year

Higher in-patient census, operating room surgeries and physician visits boosted Pardee Hospital revenue and accounted for healthy overall margins in March, the Board of Directors heard last month.

While the hospital faces the headwind of reduced reimbursements under the Affordable Patient Care Act and the loss of newly insured patients because the state rejected a Medicaid expansion plan, a monthly report from the finance committee of the Board of Directors showed that the county-owned health care provider had continued its strong financial performance for the first half of its fiscal year.
"In patient days and O.R., patients are better than budget and better than last year," finance committee chairman Bill Smith told the board on Wednesday. "Physician visits are on budget and better than last year. You clearly see our volumes have been very good."
Other March figures Smith reported were:
• Operating revenue of $76 million — 3 percent better than budget and 3 percent better than last year.
• Gross margin of $6.5 million, "which is slightly better than budget and 51 percent better than last year."
• Higher operating costs. "From an operations perspective, the one issue we have is increasing cost to us, passed along to our patients," he said.
• Operating income of $2.2 million — 2.9 percent ahead of last budget and 25 percent better than year.
• Total income of $2.7 million — 4 percent better than budget and 143 percent better than last year. The $2.7 million in income also included $700,000 from Pardee's investments, which have continued to show strong gains in the fiscal year that started on Oct. 1.
Hospital CEO Jay Kirby told board members in February that sequestration budget cuts, reduced Medicare payments from the federal government as part of Affordable Care Act and the state's refusal to expand Medicaid could cost Pardee $54 million over the next 10 years.
The North Carolina Hospital Association, in a new campaign designed to focus attention on the financial threat to community hospitals, said the state and federal policy decisions could cost the state's hospitals $7.8 billion over the next decade.