Jackson Health System Needs Better Cash Flow

According to an article in the Miami Herald, the Jackson Health System in Miami-Dade is running out of money.  As its tax revenues continue to fall, a record number of uninsured patients are flooding emergency rooms and receiving free care.  In addition, the hospital system is expected to have $56 million in losses this year and $168 million in losses next year.  Many hospitals across the country are facing the same challenges as Jackson.

The root of Jackson’s problem is its $121 million shortfall in tax support needed to pay for charity care.  This number is estimated to increase substantially over the next couple of years as the number of uninsured patients is expected to increase 27% this year and the amount of revenue from sales taxes is expected to fall. 

Eneida Roldan, Jackson’s chief executive, has come up with a 100 Day Plan to cut costs and improve efficiencies.  She has two main goals for the plan: improve billing and collecting practices and improve cash reserves by getting quicker payments from insurers and governments.  Improving cash flow is a difficult task because of slow-paying insurance companies, but is absolutely necessary due to a recent finding that Jackson will be unable to make payroll by the end of 2011. 

Jackson is fighting to get stimulus dollars, but these proposals have not been approved by Washington.  Presently, the system is making internal structural improvements.  However, it is holding off on some long-term capital improvements so that operating losses can be funded.

Healthcare vendors currently working with Miami-Dade should pay close attention to future developments on this story.

To read the entire article, click here: Miami-Dade’s financially-strapped public hospital system to ask for more tax money 

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