The financial report, published on the Sunshine Clinic Friends blog last week, shows that, through the first quarter, the Clinic is at a budget shortfall of just under $120,000. That number is not due to overspending. Expenses came in about $31,000 under budget. The problem is revenue, specifically from patient visits.
In financial terms, visits are referred to as encounters. In June, July, and August, visits fell just over twenty-two percent versus the same period last year. That, in turn, reduced the amount of money coming from patient fees, which makes up 47% of the Clinic’s income, according to its annual statement. The total shortfall of income from patients was $153,000 as of the end of September.
Clinic Executive Director David Bryant says that billable patient encounters have been declining since 2009. He says that the current drop is more significant due to a number of reasons. He says that encounter numbers are down for healthcare facilities statewide and that there is uncertainty for patients on how to proceed under the Affordable Care Act. Bryant also acknowledges that provider turnover has played a role. Dr. Mary Loeb formerly served as Medical Director for the Clinic as well as a healthcare provider. She left the Clinic in July after her contract was not renewed.
Since Dr. Loeb’s departure, other permanent providers have left the Clinic, and their patients are being seen by temporary providers. Nurse Practitioner Diane Maythorne and Physician’s Assistant Keith Kehoe left in September and October, respectively. That has caused some, including the Sunshine Clinic Friends bloggers, comprised of area residents and not the Clinic itself, to question what the financials will look like in coming months.
David Bryant says that he expects the Clinic to rebound, and that steps are being taken to reach out to more of the area the Clinic serves. This includes expanding marketing and consulting with advertising professionals. He says new business opportunities are being explored, and that more revenue can be expected from existing programs, such as dental care.
Links to the financial report can be found here.