To Medical Center Employees:
At the Nov. 18 management communications meeting Steve Hargett,
controller, gave an update on MUHA’s financial status and discussed
work under way to review cost savings ideas, as highlighted below.
As a result of our increased census and efforts to operate more
efficiently, MUHA had a net “profit” of approximately $812,000 for
October. While we remain in the red for fiscal year (FY) 08/09 to date
by $7.8 million, October was a good month.
Our days cash on hand at the end of October was 9.2. We project having
only four days cash on hand at the end of November, in part due to the
recent purchase of an MRI which was approved in the FY 06/07 capital
budget. Our FY 08/09 goal calls for 18 days cash on hand.
A cost savings ideas survey was conducted from Sept. 26 to Oct. 17.
Hargett reported the Cost Savings Committee has been reviewing more
than 500 responses including more than 700 ideas. The committee is
prioritizing and taking action to implement as many ideas as practical.
Some ideas, such as closing of CMH and reduction of travelers, have
already been implemented or are in the process of implementation.
Hargett told the management team that periodic updates will be given on
As we approach Thanksgiving and the holiday season, I want to thank
everyone for your dedicated work to provide high quality and
compassionate care and service. We are in the midst of challenging
times, but due to everyone’s efforts we are making progress. Thanks to
all for your support.
W. Stuart Smith
Vice President for Clinical Operations
and Executive Director, MUSC Medical Center
People—Fostering employee pride and loyalty
Newton, program director at the Harper Student Wellness Center,
reviewed details about the upcoming 2009 MUSC Healthy Charleston
Challenge. This is the third consecutive challenge program since its
inaugural session in January.
The first Challenge group lost a total of 1,500.6 pounds within a
12-week fitness and weight loss program. The second Challenge will end
Nov. 20 and is expected to yield similar successful results. According
to Newton, the program works, because results have been amazing. Within
this past year, organizers have worked hard to create a formula for
success in a program that promotes camaraderie, teamwork, competition,
nutrition, psychology, and exercise physiology.
Participants receive a Wellness Center membership throughout the
program. Applicants must be 25-plus pounds overweight and ready to
commit to a weight loss through lifestyle change that lowers the risk
for developing chronic disease. Newton challenged MUHA employees to
form and create their own hospital teams. The 2009 Challenge will
include 10 teams of eight participants. Fall Healthy Challenge
participants Tom Hubbard, Laurie Zone-Smith, Wendy McDonald, and Cindy
Abole spoke about their personal journey and successes throughout this
program. Registration deadline is Dec. 10.
Register at http://www.musc.edu/hsc/programs/challenge08app.html.
Finance—Providing the highest value to patients while ensuring financial stability
Steve Hargett, medical center controller, pre-sented the quarterly finance report for four months ending October.
The numbers represent actuals compared to the budget and same period in
2007. Hargett emphasized that this report doesn’t adequately tell the
story of the hard work and commitment of MUHA employees to improve the
hospital’s financial performance. Despite the economic picture, October
was busy and reflected a profit of $812,000. Average census during this
period was 522 patients per day, volume indicators were up in areas
such as inpatient/outpatient surgeries, transplants, ER visits, etc.
According to Hargett, hospital staff has done an incredible job of
controlling staffing costs and productivity numbers. MUHA has managed
this activity with salary costs being only about $100,000 more than
they had been averaging prior to that.
“When all of us put our minds to it, we really can control salary and
supply costs,” Hargett said. “There’s been a lot of hard work by
A big part of this reduction of salary costs comes from the elimination
of traveler staff (now down from 200 to 30 people). MUHA is planning to
implement another $22 million of initiatives by January. Once
established, MUHA should end the year with a $2 million profit, after
starting the 2009 losing $9 million in the first three months.
Cash on hand continues to improve. As of the end of October, cash on
hand was $22 million or nine days. Recent expenses have reduced current
cash on hand. Hargett believes cash will continue to improve as
additional initiatives are established.
November activity is expected to taper off due to the upcoming
holidays. Meanwhile, Hargett encouraged staff to remain diligent and
continue monitoring expenses and staffing.
Service—Serving the public with compassion, respect and excellence
Frazier, administrator for facilities and capitol planning, reviewed
current activity related to the CMH shutdown. Schedule is as follows:
As of Nov. 14, the newly expanded Peds ED completed DHEC inspection;
Nov. 18, 7East moved to 9West; Nov. 19, DHEC licensure will occur for
9West, 10West, Peds ED; Nov. 24, move and opening of current Peds ED to
new location. At the same time, the CMH ED will be relocated to main
hospital; and Nov. 25, move of TCU to 2C.
Frazier reminded staff that patients may still access the new Peds ED
using the drop-off, street-level entrance on Jonathan Lucas Street .
- MUHA administration
has reviewed HR Policy #A-04 relating to staff wearing holiday scrub
tops during Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Holiday scrub tops may
be worn, along with their regular scrub color bottoms. There are some
restrictions as to what can be worn and permissible attire.
- The next meeting is Nov. 25.
Friday, Nov. 21, 2008