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'Two midnights' rule dims Pardee's fiscal picture


Pardee Hospital officials said they will have to be "judicious about hiring" and carefully manage staffing levels as a decline in emergency room visits and patient admissions depressed first quarter revenue.

In contrast to last year's stellar financial performance, Pardee in October and November showed an anemic gross operating margin of $372,000, down $1.77 million to budget and $1.87 million lower compared to numbers it posted a year ago.
For the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, Pardee was a financial star among community hospitals in North Carolina and one of the better performing units in the UNC Health Systems network. It achieved a 4.3 percent operating margin, a highly unusual number for community hospitals, as it recorded gains in patient admissions and in visits to its urgent care center and network of physician practices.
This year a combination of fewer ER visits, new Medicare rules that have forced down patient admissions and a slow-starting flu season has reduced patient admissions across the U.S.
"We had an email we sent around internally yesterday that said hospital admissions reached the weakest levels in a decade," said Alan House, Pardee's chief financial officer.

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