BRHS reports loss for fiscal year

Published 6:23 am Friday, November 19, 2010

Staff Writer

Beaufort Regional Health System sustained a $1.67 million loss from its operations in the 2009-1010 fiscal year, according to an interim financial statement presented to its Board of Commissioners on Thursday.
The 2009-2010 fiscal year ended Sept. 30.
When combined with depreciation from its buildings and equipment and a $1.08 million loss sustained from the sale of BRHS property to Beaufort County, BRHS saw a net loss of $5.660 million, according to the report.
That loss is more than four times the $1.33 million net loss reported by BRHS in the previous fiscal year, according to the report.
Patient numbers for BRHS also were down during the 2009-2010 fiscal year when compared to the previous year, according to the report.
Those patients who chose the local health system were more satisfied with the care they received at BRHS than patients at other hospitals throughout the nation, according to a patient satisfaction survey also presented Thursday to the BRHS board.
The number of patients at the hospital each day in 2009-2010 averaged 37.1, down slightly from the previous year when the daily census averaged 38, according to the report.
About 75.3 percent of those patients gave BRHS the highest ratings for the care they received, as compared to 68.1 percent at hospitals nationwide, according to a patient satisfaction survey recorded by HealthStream Research.
BRHS recorded $2.9 million in depreciation of its buildings and equipment but made only $976,653 in capital expenditures during the 2009-2010 fiscal year, according to the report.
Ideally, capital expenditures would equal the amount of depreciation in order to sustain the health system’s buildings and equipment, Richard Reif, BRHS interim chief financial officer, told the board.
“You’re cannibalizing your operations,” he said.
At the end of the year, BRHS had $573,654 cash in the bank as compared to $1.4 million cash in the bank at the end of the previous fiscal year, according to the report. When combined with funds in board-designated investments and other restricted funds, the report showed a combined $1.7 million in cash at the end of 2009-2010.
Reif described the BRHS cash in the bank as “low” and “precarious.”
The interim financial statement showed $15.13 million in net receivables, or money owed BRHS, as of Sept. 30, down slightly from $15.77 million owed BRHS at the end of the previous fiscal year.
“Several areas in accounts receivable continue to be of concern,” Reif said. “That’s going to be looked at by our auditors.”
The BRHS board earlier this year approved a contract with LarsonAllen LLP of Charlotte to perform the health system’s 2009-2010 audit. The firm is scheduled to deliver a completed audit report in January, Reif told the board.
The financial report also showed $6.669 million in accounts payable, money BRHS owes to its suppliers and others, as of Sept. 30. That figure is up slightly from $6.218 million reported at the end of the previous fiscal year, according to the report.
A decrease in the health system’s long-term debt of about $3.10 million from the previous fiscal year brought its total liabilities to $29.69 million, according to the report.
“It’s a bit of a hand-to-mouth existence,” Reif said.