Hospital makes profit

| 29/07/2010

(CNS): For the first time since its creation the local Health Service Authority has ended a financial year in the black. The chair of the HSA board revealed that the Cayman Islands hospital took in $2.3 million more in revenue than its operating costs for the financial year 2009/10 to 30 June, marking a significant turning point in the hospital’s financial difficulties. However, both Canover Watson and HSA Chief Executive Officer Lizette Yearwood were at pains to stress that the figure would have been $14.3 milllion if all of the patients treated at the hospital had paid their bills. Yearwood listed a catalogue of services and improvements that could be made at the HSA if the outstanding debt was repaid and reinvested into the facility.

Speaking at a special briefing to announce the launch of the hospital’s new five year plan at the hospital on Wednesday afternoon, Yearwood stressed the good news that the hospital was finally more than breaking even. However, the CEO pointed out that the people in the community could help improve matters further by paying their bills when their insurance coverage fell short.
 
With $12 million in bad debt at the hospital for this year alone (part of an accumulative total of around $40 milllion) Yearwood said if the HSA could get that money it could cover the cost of a cat lab, bring in a cardiologists, expand oncology, improve the hospital’s ICU, to name but a few improvements. “The medical team is literally bubbling with ideas about things we could do if we were able to collect on the bad debt,” Yearwood added.
 
With around 15% of the hospital’s revenue currently being lost in bad debt, it is still a major priority for the hospital to focus on collecting the money owed for services delivered.
 
However, Watson, the board chair, said the hospital had achieved a major turnaround in its finances and that it was on track to meet the Public Accounts Committee’s September deadline to have all of its financial statements up to date and annual reports ready for the Legislative Assembly.
 
After years of losses, which were subsidized by government, the hospital is now on track for a much brighter future. The board chair said a new five year plan had been approved, which the members hope will see the facility go from strength to strength. Watson also announced that fees would be increased to reflect the real costs at the hospital, as he said in some cases it was providing services to the public at far below the real cost.
 
Talking about the turnaround at the facility, Watson said the HSA was still too often the subject of negative reporting that was not always based in fact but he believed that was a legacy of the past disarray and turmoil. “That is behind us now and there are many success stories and we would like the media to spread the new message,” he said.
 
The board chair said he believed people do not appreciate the complexities of a health care system that provides care for everyone that graces its doors but at the same time has to remain financially viable. However, as a result of a major effort on the part of everyone involved at the hospital and the board, they had achieved that goal. Watson also paid tribute to the previous board and in particular the former chair, Pastor Al Ebanks, who he said had begun the work to turn the hospital around.
 
Watson said that the new five year plan was all about what was in the interest of the patients, and the goal was to deliver the highest possible quality of health care to the people of the Cayman Islands.  Watson also spoke of the importance of continuing to improve the quality and level of services available at the hospital in order to reduce the very expensive overseas referrals that cost the public purse significant amounts ever year. He explained that the more the hospital could improve and expand its clinical provisions the more it could reduce the money spent at hospitals abroad.
 
The new five year plan is made up of four main goals. The first of which is to decrease the incidences of chronic non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, cancer and obesity; the second  is to implement evidence based practice in all areas of clinical care by 2015; the third is to have collections match expenses by 2015 and to have at least 90% satisfaction rates from patients.
 
Watson described seven strategies which he said would help the HSA achieve the objectives, from working with local partners to encourage healthy lifestyles and adopting patient friendly process to recruiting and retaining the best medical staff.
 
Watson also pointed to the pressing need for legislative change, which the ministry was supporting, in particular the need to improve the basic health care plans offered by local insurance providers as it was far below the coverage required in order to provide care to patients.
 
“Our progress has been remarkable but no one at the HSA or the ministry believes success is guaranteed,” Watson said, adding there was more work to be done to ensure the hospital provided the best possible care for everyone who came through its doors.
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  1. Anonymous says:

    Great Job! My wife and I recently had a baby girl at the GT Hospital and the care and service was excellent! I was pleasantly surprised. I have a small outstanding bill which I intend to pay over time. So what about the other $40 million owed to the HSA? Bad debt? That’s huge, maybe not by hospital standards but by any business standards. So why write it off as "bad debt"? Hire debt collectors like any other business would, take persons to court and garnish their wages, even if everyone who owes the HSA were to pay a little each month, $100, $200, $500, or whatever the court agrees they can afford to pay, eventually the debts would get paid down. But if you don’t pursue the debt, you won’t collect it. Nobody has pursued me for my small debt, so do I ignore it like so many others before me (?), no, as a good, honest person, I will slowly but surely pay my debt to such a stellar organization who delivered our baby girl. The greatest joy one could ever hope for.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Excellent! They would collect even more if staff understood the CINICO plans and what they cover.

    I know of someone who has Standard Health Ins Cover and every time they see a physician and go to pay the cashier is told, ‘You don’t have to pay; you got CINICO." The same thing when anyone goes to collect the medication and presents the card.

    Then they want to send a bill a year after about how much is owed. I have mentioned this to the CEO before but it’s still happening.

    I wonder how many others experience this? Hmmm!

  3. Shame says:

    We now live in a place where the maternity ward does not have a working gas machine.  So it looks like "profits" have come at steps towards offering a more third world health service.

    Would someone in senior HSA management like to issue a press release about this?  Didn’t think so.

    • La La Land says:

      Reports like this concern me that ours safety and the treatment we are receiving is suffering in the interests of boosting a profit press release.

  4. Anonymous says:

     In my opinion, Dr. Hoeksema also deserves a great credit for this if not all. The kind of discipline and work ethics in the institution has helped to acheive this accomplishment. Great job!!!

  5. Anon says:

    I am disgusted by people who don’t pay their bills – mooching scum…..

     

  6. Anonymous says:

    If the HSA Board choose to follow a toothless policy of not taking action against debtors, who can blame their "clients" for not paying? ‘

    It’s no different to Fosters supermarket allowing its customers the choice of paying at the checkout, or just walking off with the groceries and dropping an IOU in the garbage on the way out. Or leaving your front door wide open when you go to work in the morning and then wondering why the TV has gone when you get back.

    Bizarre

  7. Pastor Al Ebanks says:

    Congratulations!

    The HSA Board and it’s Chairman Mr. Canover Watson and CEO Mrs. Lizzette Yearwood, the Senior Management Team and indeed all the staff of HSA deserve much praise and credit for an outstanding job well done.  In a time when Health Care is causing so many challenges for communities around the world this is wondeful news for the people of the CI.  I trust as a people we will take a moment to celebrate this significant achievement. Keep up the good works!

    • Dilemma says:

      Dear Pastor Ebanks

      Thank you for your post, you did forget to mention the minister with responsablility for the HSA though, any particular reason why? oh I almost forgot he is a member of the UDP…

      • Ray says:

        Do you not think that as the past Chairman he well knows that it is the board & the employees that do the work & deserve the credit? This is how it should be in any Authority that is run properly. It is not a Ministry/Minister that is making this happen. Plus he knows what was in progress under his watch.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Dr. Shetti’s Hospital will even make MORE profits!  Wait and see!  Medical tourism will increase revenue. PPM members will be very humbled and silent when the UDP accomplish this great feat!

    They must muster now all the negatives and try to oust them out before 2013.  As an independent, this will be an interesting ball game between two parties :o)

  9. Man says:

    Bye, bye PPM, so long PPM, Bye, bye PPM, i think I’m going ta cry now, bye bye my thorn good bye now!

    One down, one to go! The Premier is going to give us the other with his ego!!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    I am truly amazed and pardon me for being cautious but it just seems like a "miracle" that just a few months ago they were in deficit and suddenly they have made $2.3 million profit? They haven’t laid of anybody, I haven’t heard of any sales of major medical equipments and I am sure they received a subsidy from Goverment so is this subsidy being treated as revenue?

    Hmm. I wait to hear the "true" story behind this and my less than enthusiastic nature have nothing to do with politics since I can’t even vote and have no party!

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Well!! Thats a first. It’s good to here that the finances have change around and that some of the government officials have paid there dues. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Well put! I’m with you on this 16:34. Lets wait until the audits are done and find out what exactly is the true picture.

  11. Anonymous says:

     

    I personally believe this achievement has come from Mrs Yearwood, if you ask me she deserves a lot of the credit I am very proud of her(though I don’t know her personally) I think she does and know more about the HSA than Mr Scotland! She should be the minister in charge he look so lost and confuse anytime he has to talk about this ministry
    • Anonymous says:

      You know anonymous 16:29 you are brilliant to figure out that she knows more but the fact that he does not get in her way anduses his political position to support her makes him even more brilliant.

      Mark you have my respect, I just which you were on a different team. It is going to be sad to see you pay for what the others are doing.

  12. Dilemma says:

    My my my, good news is just too boring when the UDP is in power aint it? whe  i first read this article this morning I thought well it should be about 200 postings by noon but what a surprise, only 2.  How pathetic a people have we become? because my party isn’t in power you mean I can support good news? I guarantee you if this headline read HSA loses another 2 million the posters would have pounded this forum with their usual negative and yes ignorant comments about what the UDP hasdone wrong but because we finally get some good news they hide like hermits.

    I want to say to Minister Scotland, his staff, Lizette Yearwood and the entire staff at the HSA a job well done, you have showed us that with hard work and cooperation it can be done!  I can only hope to look forward to more good news in the future.

     

    • Go Unna says:

      Congrats to Canover and all those who played a role in this turnaround. But $40,000,000 in accumulated losses (caused by the cumulative neglect of the UDP, PPM and other pre-party administrations) is not much cause for celebration.  We are probably running a bigger welfare state per capita than the big island 90 miles to the north. Perhaps the new Auditor General could have a little dig around…..

  13. My2cents says:

    Fantastic achievement! – they have some great people in there finally making it work. GOOD for them, good for the Cayman Islands.

    I think she has a good point that it would have been more had everyone paid their bills, but as ever, people still expect a free ride with the HSA and then laugh at them when they make a loss.

    Personally I hope they get a lot tougher on those who fail to pay their bills. We all suffer for it when they cannot reinvest in the facility.

  14. Iamnotapirate says:

    " were at pains to stress that the figure would have been $14.3 million if all of the patients treated at the hospital had paid their bills."

    And this is tolerated because?

    What are the qualifications needed to get service and not have to pay the bill?

    Is it the same qualifications needed not to pay garbage collections? 

    water bills?  CUC bills?

    What percentage of these are civil servants I wonder?

    • Anonymous says:

      the qualifications to not pay your bill is to be Caymanian!!!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      0% are civil servants. The unpaid bills are from patients who are NOT civil servants, considering CINICO pays the entire bill for all CSs.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Congrats to the HSA Board and Management Team. Still a ways to go but headed in the right direction.  

  16. Anonymous says:

    I hope we can trust those figures… (sips tea)

    • Anonymous says:

      My dear, we are fine with these ones… Ken Jefferson had nothing to do with them.

  17. anonymous says:

    Congratulations Lizette, I know you can do the job. Thank God they got all those crazy women out of that hospital all standing in line after Mr. Conolly left there a bunch of crazy women that thought the hospital was their dolly house,and demanding to have a shot at that CEO’s chair ! as if its some play thing !  Someone made a stupid mistake and granted their desire, thesilly women ran all the good doctors away, while  abusing the staff as well. 

    But you deserve it and you have proven yourself to be the only qualified and suitable candidate for that job.

    God job, good luck for the future

    God bless you Liztte.

    • Anonymous says:

      First off let me congratulate Mrs Lizette for a job well done.

      Second off I would like for some clarification is this a profit after a subsidy from Government or is there no subsidy from Government at all?

      • Anonymous says:

        The hosptial is an Authority and is not subsidised by the government.

        However, our nation needs to give up the idea that they are entitled to free health care.

        Well done to all staff at the HSA because it took all y’all to make it work!