And while the nurses are on a go-slow, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Authority is working at tackling the fiscal troubles they are facing. The facility is cutting operational costs to meet is financial demands while keeping services up to standards and equipment up to date. Chair of the KHMHA Board, Dr Andre Sosa told Love News that KHMHA has been having discussions with private partners who offer services to the KHMH to reduce cost. For instance, Dr. Sosa explained that they managed to renegotiate a half a million dollars yearly bill for laundry services. This led to a saving of about a hundred thousand dollars.
Dr.Andre Sosa, Chair, KHMHA Board: “We do have partners in the private sector who we purchase services from. I’ll tell you that we’ve already started negotiating with those partners in the private sector having them understand that things are hard all around and they’re hard for Karl Heusner as well. We want to see savings from them. I can tell you that we have managed to negotiate savings of about $100,000 for our laundry services. The cost of laundry services is about half a million dollars per year it’s a lot of money and we had some intensive negotiation and we were able to bring down the cost of those servings and we’re looking at savings of about $100,000 a year. We’re going to dialogue with other partners who provide other services and looking to make similar savings. The other big ticket items of course are things like the security that is provided, that’s another big bill there that has to come down and we’re looking to them to work with us. The pain and suffering has to be shared equally.”
In 2020, the KHMHA billed patients a total of nine million dollars in services, but it’s been an uphill battle in collecting outstanding debts during a pandemic. According to Dr. Sosa thirty-eight percent of the outstanding debt has been collected so far. Dr. Sosa says that historically, collections has been one of the weak spots of the hospital. A new financial controller has been hired for the KHMH and Dr. Sosa says his task will be to transform the collections department, look at efficiencies and enforce collections.
Reporter: Is it that the FO would give instructions to the collecting agents to be more aggressive because while the KHMH is the national referral hospital it’s basically the poor people’s hospital.
Dr.Andre Sosa, Chair, KHMHA Board: “You know you can’t get blood out of stone in particular in these hard economic times. We have to be compassionate but we need to ensure that the hospital has money so that when that patient comes back there is someone there to treat him or her, there are supplies and medications to give him or her. We will be making a concerted effort to do those collecting but with flexibility and compassion as parts of the policy.”
Reporter: Would there be incentives given ? Given you pay your entire bill you get 5% off or 10% off or stuff like that ?
Dr.Andre Sosa, Chair, KHMHA Board: “Certainly all those things are being considered. I wouldn’t be able to give you all the details because the Financial Controller is still working on those but yes you know we know that it’s important to collect but that it is done in a compassionate manner.”