Ressler: AVH in the black so far for ’05 | AspenTimes.com

Ressler: AVH in the black so far for ’05

John Colson

Aspen Valley Hospital lost a little money in the month of May, but generally is on track for a “strong year,” hospital Chief Executive Officer David Ressler said last night.Based on a financial report presented at Monday’s regular hospital board meeting, the institution that was hemorrhaging red ink a couple of years ago is in the black so far in 2005.Chief Financial Officer Terry Collins reported that while the hospital lost $849,629 in May, it was budgeted to lose more – a total of $988,504. Total operating revenues were budgeted at more than $2.88 million, but came in at $2.71 million; expenses were budgeted at $3.87 million, but were held to $3.56 million.In the year-to-date column, the hospital was budgeted to earn total operating revenues of just more than $20 million, with operating expenses of approximately $20.5 million. According to Collins’ figures, the hospital actually brought in $22.5 million and spent just slightly more than budgeted, leaving the institution roughly $2.5 million in the black for the year through May.Ressler said he is “guardedly optimistic” that AVH is pulling out of its financial troubles, based in part on what Collins said is the good performance of the hospital’s collections agency, First Consulting Group of Nashville, Tenn.According to Collins, FCG has been using its own billing system and has increased the hospital’s overall billings by more than $1 million per month compared to a year ago. At that time, the hospital was under the administration of CEO Randy Middlebrook and CFO Verna Bartlett, both of whom were fired in 2004.Collins also noted that the hospital’s cash-on-hand reserves are roughly $11 million, or 98 days worth. He said the hospital should have 120 days worth of reserves, or approximately $13.5 million. In the worst days of the AVH’s recent financial crisis, the reserves stood at approximately $1.3 million, or enough to last a couple of weeks.John Colson’s e-mail address is jcolson@aspen-times.com

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