ARMC Finance receives positive report

ALPENA – Alpena Regional Medical Center’s Finance/Cost Containment Committee heard a positive September financial report at its meeting on Thursday from George Smart, vice president for finance and information systems.

The hospital’s overall gross outpatient revenue was 7.1 percent better than expected. Also in the positive were outpatient visits, surgery, emergency room visits, laboratory services, and wound and hyperbaric procedures, which have been running better than expected for the first quarter, according to Smart.

“We had a great September,” Smart said. “We exceeded expectations in all major categories. We had well-controlled length of stay, and that all adds up to good patient management.”

Smart said he is glad to see the increase, and attributes it to the new providers the hospital has added in the past year.

“We’ve added new providers over the years, and as a result of these we’re providing accessibility for those patients in our region,” Smart said. “We’re seeing the impact of the providers that we’ve brought into the market.”

An ongoing focus of the hospital has been to manage expenses wisely in order to prepare for the future and try and prepare for the uncertain effects of Obamacare.

“With the change that’s coming in reimbursement, with Obamacare and the exchange and everything else, we are doing everything we can to position ourselves where we’re well positioned for that,” Smart said. “There are still a lot of unknowns as to how rapidly will this change-over take place.”

The committee approved operating fund disbursements of $8,805,536, R&I disbursements of $370,763, and write-off of uncollectible patient accounts totaling $460,188, with recoveries of $67,517.

Smart also updated the committee on the position of the bond process, and said that the time table for the sale of the bonds is Nov. 12.

“Since September, interest rates have dropped,” he said. “They’ve been ranging from 3.2 to 3.7 percent … We’re still in good shape. When we first presented this we were anticipating a four percent interest rate, and so we’re hopeful that it will come in under that four.”

Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.