The Block Island Times

Budget projections for BIHS on target for first quarter

By Stephanie Turaj | May 21, 2013

Budget projections for Block Island Health Services (BIHS) came out close to target for its first fiscal quarter from January to March 2013, but, as expected, the center is operating in the red. The BIHS finance committee discussed the budget at its April 19 meeting.

For the first quarter, the Medical Center saw a net net loss of $109,243. Income for the quarter totaled $70,809 and expenses were tallied at $180,052 for the same period.

BIHS had budgeted for a net loss of $107,777.

Committee member Bob Fallon wondered if the medical center was in a position to make up for the budget shortfall in the busy season ahead.

“I know that in the summer that we’re going to have more income,” said committee member Bob Fallon. “Are we budgeted to make up our holes in the summer? I know there’s going to be variations quarter-to-quarter.”

Most notably, the medical center received $16,805 in donations, which is $10,502 above the budgeted amount of $6,302.

However, patient fee income was $33,927, which is $5,132 below the budgeted amount of $39,059.

On the expense side, there were a number of variations from the first quarter budgeted amounts.

BIHS had $9,999 in bad debt expenditures, but had budgeted for $4,470. Finance committee member Bill McCombe, who joined the meeting by phone, asked, “On the bad debt that we have, do you know if it’s primarily people that are uninsured? Or is it because of coding issues. Do we have any breakdown on that?”

Finance Committee Chair Pete Tweedy told the The Block Island Times later that the billing system manages the breakdown of who owes the center bad debt, but committee members have been looking into obtaining more details. He also said that BIHS was behind last year in collecting bad debt, and this year is budgeting for that increased numbers.

Also on the expense side, professional fees totaled $13,109, which is $5,123 above the budgeted amount of $7,985.

“I don’t know why your professional fees this quarter were so much higher than what you budgeted for,” said Bob Fallon.

“That was due to consulting fees,” said accountant Bruce Eagleson.

Payroll and wages were at about $75,166, which was $5,951 below the budgeted amount of $81,118. Fallon asked if this trend would continue for the next three quarters. “Wages are going to be stagnant,” said Eagleson.

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