September 12, 2023 |

Photo – Memorial Hospital of Carbon County – Bigfoot99 file photo

The financial outlook of Memorial Hospital of Carbon County appears to be improving, administrators at the facility reported last week.

At Tuesday’s Board of Carbon County Commissioners meeting, Interim Chief Executive Officer Rex Walk and Interim Chief Financial Officer Wayne Colson updated the board on the hospital’s financials. Interim CFO Colson said the operational changes he and Walk have implemented have begun to make a positive impact on the hospital’s budget.

Colson said while the hospital’s financial outlook is getting better, the accounts payable, or AP, has increased from this time last year. The interim CFO said a $1.3 million in May of this year loan from the state of Wyoming needs to be repaid. Colson told the commissioners that the loan payments are factored into the hospital’s accounts payable.

Interim CEO Walk said Memorial Hospital of Carbon County has changed medical supply distribution companies. Walk said MHCC is no longer required to purchase medical items in bulk, saving the hospital a lot of money.

For several years, the hospital struggled to implement a new computerized billing system. Colson said when he became interim CFO in March, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, asked for a routine financial report. Colson said after informing CMS that the billing system wouldn’t allow him to provide the requested information, the federal agency demanded $800,000 in Medicare and Medicaid payments back.

Colson said other medical reimbursement agencies were withholding funding until the hospital provided a cost report. The interim CFO said the hospital has paid half of the $800,000 by convincing the other agencies not to wait for the report. Colson said Memorial Hospital has contracted with an auditor to produce the required financial report.

Colson said the amount of money the hospital is projected to lose each year, called bad debt, was too high. The interim CFO said the amount of bad debt in 2021 was overestimated. Colson said he will dispute the previous years’ financial numbers in the hopes of recovering the $400,000 given to CMS.

Interim CEO Walk said the hospital is looking to add additional medical services, such as on-site occupational therapy, to boost income.

When Walk and Colson took over the Memorial Hospital earlier this year, it had $16 million dollars in unpaid medical bills. While an exact amount of income isn’t available at this time, Colson said the hospital made $13,000 in August. Walk told the board that amount equates to 0.3% profit for the month.

The two hospital officials said they will continue to update the board every month. They said they expected to have a completed financial report by November.

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