Updated April 23 to correct headline
By ANDY GARDNER
MASSENA -- Massena Memorial Hospital finished March at a $452,658 deficit, despite budgeting to end at a $144,117 profit, according to a financial summary made public on Monday.
The disparity is in part due to fewer outpatient registrations and a higher operating expense than projected.
MMH Chief Financial Officer James Smith noted the hospital handled 1,057 fewer outpatient registrations than the expected number of 12,117.
“That’s down quite a bit from budget,” Smith said.
In-patient discharges and observation visits for March totaled slightly beneath projections as well.
Operating expenses came in $336,299 over budget, Smith said it’s due to new practitioners not included when they wrote the 2014 budget in November. They include an obstetrician and gynecologist, a family practitioner and an internist.
Gary Borgosz of the Board of Managers’ finance committee said there were “other issues with insurance claims” that led to greater spending.
Town Councilman John Macaulay asked the board if there was anyone in the MMH finance department who looks for areas where services could be billed differently, potentially garnering more money, which he called a “deep dive.”
“I don’t think there’s a need for it,” Smith said. “I’m not aware of any hospitals that do go into that level of detail.”
MMH is reporting that they are $840,839 in the red year-to-date, having planned on being at a $44,144 deficit, according to the financial statement. Smith said in March that although some months are projected to end at a deficit, the budget balances at the end of the year.
The year-to-date loss is slightly better than at the same point in 2013, when they were down $996,932.