Despite declining patient volumes and revenue, Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital posted earnings of $73,000 for April thanks to a boost from the federal government.
Hospital admissions dropped by 101 compared to the previous April and daily revenue was down by around $60,000, chief financial officer Rhonda McCabe said.
“This was the month where we really felt the COVID impact,” McCabe said.
But as part of the multi-trillion dollar CARES Act passed by Congress, Memorial received $1.9 million. Furloughing approximately 160 employees and reducing salaries for administrators also helped save the hospital around half a million dollars.
Memorial has begun phasing employees back into work and furloughs are expected to end by June 7, hospital CEO Gary Stokes said.
Admissions statistics indicate that patients are waiting until they are incredibly sick before seeking treatment. Around 17% of patients treated in the hospital’s emergency room during April were admitted, McCabe said. That’s up from an average of around 11%. Patients on average stayed more than 4 days compared to an average of around 1.5 days.
“The patients that came into the hospital were really sick. The average length of stay was very high,” she said.
A large part of the hospital’s revenue is driven by outpatient procedures, which were banned under an executive order by Gov. Greg Abbott in late March. Abbott has since eased restrictions, but Memorial is still only able to perform urgent and emergency surgeries, Stokes said.
“We’re moving to safely open up on elective procedures in the future. We are weekly assessing our elective surgery and visitor policies as COVID goes up and down,” he said.
Through April, Memorial had treated 55 patients who tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Eight of those patients died, and another died after being transferred to another facility.
The hospital’s new wing of the Cecil R. Bomar Rehabilitation center for patients who are severely weakened from the coronavirus has been a success, Chief Nursing Officer Kristine Sutton said. Three patients have been released, one was transferred to another health care facility and another is expected to be released this week, she said.
In other business, the hospital renewed a contract with Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance, entered an an agreement for electricity service with Tradition Energy and tabled a contract for a depository account with BancorpSouth.