The report, presented Monday at the hospital’s finance committee meeting, represented the smallest loss for the health system in more than two years.
Since the hospital signed a management contract with Erlanger in early 2011, staff has been working to stem the flow of losses that have threatened the survival of the Fort Oglethorpe hospital, which serves Walker, Catoosa and Dade counties.
According to reports, May represented a considerable financial improvement for the hospital. This period saw losses halved since that same period in 2011. Losses a year ago were $889,959, while this year losses yielded only $481,354. Hutcheson had predicted a loss totaling $1.25 million for the period this year,
Hospital officials said this sort of improvement demonstrates continued growth in the hospital's overall financial health.
Roger Forgey, president and chief executive officer, said, "Every individual who works at our facilities has contributed to the improvement of Hutcheson's bottom line, and it is encouraging to see our efforts pay off."
"We know there is significant work ahead to secure the hospital's long-term viability, but it is evident we are heading in a positive direction, and that the north Georgia community is supporting us in even greater numbers."
Farrell Hayes, who has recently returned to help chart the hospital's financial future, said the improvement "is the direct result of rising patient volumes, higher billing collection rates and diligent expense control."
Hayes previously served as Hutcheson's chief financial officer from 1976-87.
The hospital has achieved a 20 percent increase in both outpatient and emergency department volumes since May 2011. Outpatient visits were up by more than 15 percent since last year.
Officials also reported that a significant decrease in salary and benefits helped the bottom line, as well as achieving 140 percent of the hospital's goal on collections.