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HAMC announces fiscal corner turn

By Staff | May 18, 2018

Photo courtesy of Heart of America Medical Center

The Heart of America Medical Center announced last week that after fiscal challenges it has “turned the corner.”

In the wake of the challenges, the hospital reached out to a national consulting firm that placed two interim consultants, one from Texas and the other from Arizona, in the facility to identify areas needing improvement. The hospital also did a comparative analysis of its staffing ratio and that of other North Dakota hospitals and nursing homes.

The hospital underwent employee position restructures; employee salary and benefit reductions; and cutting expenses. The hospital also began collecting patients’ co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles at the time of service, and opened Kids Next Door-the on-site daycare-to the public.

The Good Samaritan Health Services Foundation, which provides support for the hospital through providing equipment and critical operating needs, also played a role in resolving financial issues. The hospital auxiliary assisted departments, and the volunteer program helped continue customer service.

The hospital had been experiencing fiscal challenges for over two decades, however they came to head last year. One of those challenges was Medicare withholding nearly $800,000 in reimbursements in October 2017.

According a HAMC release, Medicare reevaluated the withholding and will reimburse nearly $400,000 to the hospital.

The hospital has also been seeking grants and fundraising for 3-D mammography equipment, and has resumed hiring for staff and leadership positions. A new chief financial officer is slated to start mid-June.

“It’s been a very difficult road to travel, each and every staff member has made sacrifices in one way or another,” HAMC CEO Patrick Branco said in the press release. “We’ve made a great deal of progress right-sizing the organization and becoming more efficient. Going forward, it will always be a part of the way we do business.”

– Tribune Staff Report

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