12/14/05 — Administration reports slow months at Wayne Memorial

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Administration reports slow months at Wayne Memorial

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on December 14, 2005 1:50 PM

October and November were slow months at Wayne Memorial Hospital, officials told the board of directors Tuesday.

Historically, October, the first month of the hospital's fiscal year, has been a strong one, said Dr. Joseph McLamb, board member and head of the finance committee.

According to the committee's monthly report, McLamb said revenues were off budget by almost $3 million for October. Inpatient revenues reflected a decline in admissions of 10 percent, while outpatient revenues were off 7 percent from the budget, although ahead of last year.

William Paugh, hospital president, said that in November, admissions were off by 9 percent, or 100 fewer than budgeted. The average length of stay was 4.8 days, slightly less than what was budgeted, five days.

As for the census, the number of inpatients ranged from 182 down to 134, with the outpatient volume dipping about 3 percent below the budgeted number.

Paugh said while the numbers were lower, he expects them to pick up.

Surgeries have also been down significantly in recent months, Paugh said, and the hospital has several plans in place to recruit new physicians.

Neurosurgeon Dr. Robert Lacin has relocated his practice to Raleigh and hospital officials said there is also a need for additional psychiatrists to work in the hospital's behavioral health program.

In his report to the board, Paugh said one psychiatrist candidate has already visited the area and two more are scheduled for interviews this month.

The board of directors also heard from Cline Comer, a partner in the accounting firm of LarsonAllen, based in Charlotte and hired to conduct the hospital's annual audit. Comer said the hospital had a clean audit for the past year.

Paugh gave an update on several construction projects in progress. The first phase of first floor renovations are expected to be completed by Dec. 15, with the second phase to finish up by Jan. 31.

The hospital is also moving forward with developing a joint venture with interested surgeons to establish a freestanding ambulatory surgical center, as part of its 2006 N.C. Medical Facilities Plan. Paugh said the group is working on a certificate of need application for an MRI.