Jonathan Burk, Saige Bertolas and Aleta Bezzic

From left, Jonathan Burk, Saige Bertolas and Aleta Bezzic social distance after they are sworn in as St. Vincent Hospital board members.

St. Vincent Hospital’s 2019 fiscal year audit reported that the special district is maintaining a trend of profit.

A representative from Dingus, Zarecor and Associates, the Washington-based financial firm commissioned by the hospital to complete the audit, reported the findings to board members at their monthly meeting May 27.

As it stands, the audit reported, the hospital’s main financial liability is uncertainty stemming from COVID-19 and the financial fallout that may result.

“These uncertainties could cause substantial doubt of the District’s ability to continue as a going concern,” read a statement from the financial firm about the audit’s findings.

SVH reported, in a note addressing the concerns about financial impact from COVID-19, that there was a decline in patient volume in March, that the hospital received approximately $146,000 in emergency relief funds, and that SVH has applied for $1 million in relief funding through the Payroll Protection Program.

In 2019, the district saw an increase in its operating margin, from -3.8% in 2018 to 1.8% in 2019.

The hospital maintained the same number of days cash on hand, with no fluctuation recorded between 2018 and 2019. The hospital had 44 days cash on hand for the last two fiscal years.

Debt metrics for SVH, according to the report, show increases in debt-based financing and bad debt.

In 2019, the district’s debt to net position percentage, an indicator of reliance on debt-based financing, increased from 15% in 2018 to 39% last year.

Similarly, bad debt as a percentage of net patient services, described as revenue that the hospital has earned but deems unrecoverable, increased from 11.8% in 2018 to 15.9% in 2019.

In 2019, the number of full time equivalent employees increased from 65 to 74.

Dingus, Zarecor and Associates commended SVH for its improvement compared to past years that the firm has reviewed the hospital’s financial standing.

Little changed in the hospital district by way of financial policies or practices, according to the audit’s findings.

The firm reported no significant difficulties in completing the audit and SVH did not seek input or advice from any other outside agency.

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