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Sunday, December 21, 2014

UNMH fiscally in the red

news@dailylobo.com

Proceeding into the fiscal year, the UNM Health System continues to face financial losses, a UNMH official said.

At a UNM Hospital Board of Directors meeting Friday, UNM Hospital CEO Steve McKernan said that so far in fiscal year 2014, the UNM Health System is experiencing a net loss of about 6 million dollars.

But he said the hospital is looking into various other revenue sources and forms of collection, and has received investment income from Arizona-based investor TriWest Healthcare Alliance in March. McKernan said he expects further revenue from other investors later in the year.

“What effectively has happened is our accounts receivable dropped about 6 million dollars, which means we have had to make some other accruals because our cash flow is down,” McKernan said. “We believe the money is going to come.”

According to a memorandum issued by McKernan to the board, the estimated $6 million loss equates to a 1-percent loss based on the system’s total revenue of about $695 million. The Sandoval Regional Medical Center has lost $5 million, and the UNM Medical Group has lost $1 million so far.

Although the SRMC lost the amount during the first quarter of the fiscal year, it “has been close to break-even in the last four months,” according to the document.

According to the document, the health system has also experienced an 11-percent increase in net operating revenues, in contrast to a 9-percent increase in operating expenses.

McKernan said he believes the hospital is financially stable, but at the moment he is unable to give an estimate of total net loss or the figures involved in its recuperation for the end of the fiscal year.

“So, overall, we believe we are going to be fine until the end of the year,” McKernan said. “But as you look at the financial reports you are going to see some big increases in accounts receivable. We wanted to let you know we are tracking that. We would like to bring back definitive reports for you to review at this point in time, but everything is just in such a state of flux. We don’t even have a good track on what would be governance-level reports to bring back to you.”

Mike Richards, executive physician-in-chief of the health system, said that one of the future projects slated for the hospital is to develop a strategic plan for the UNM Children’s Hospital and for the women’s services department, which he said would serve to build upon the original overall strategic plan of the hospital.

Richards said the hospital also aims to improve the educational aspect of the health system.

“Other areas outside of the clinical arena that we plan to work on include our education mission,” he said. “That is two fronts: They would like a common educational site for us, which will help with our mission in terms of creating a site both for residents and medical students, and they would also like us to bring our educational services to their workforce.”