THE SCHNEIDER REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER, THE FREDERIKSTED HEALTH CARE INC., AND THE ST. THOMAS EAST END MEDICAL CORPORATION JUSTIFYS FY 2024 BUDGET

Published: Aug 2, 2023

ST. THOMAS – Members of the 35th Legislature of the Virgin Islands Committee on Budget, Appropriations, and Finance, led by Senator Donna A. Frett-Gregory, convened a meeting at the Capitol Building regarding the proposed Fiscal Year 2024 Executive Budget for the Government of the Virgin Islands. Schneider Regional Medical Center (SRMC), Frederiksted Health Care Inc., and St. Thomas East End Medical Center Corporation (STEEMCC) justified their budgets.

Tina Comissiong, Esq., Chief Executive Officer at Schneider Regional Medical Center, stated the Governor’s recommended General Fund appropriation totals $30,250,000 for Fiscal Year 2024. However, GVI appropriated $31 million per Act 8629. The General Fund budget breakdown was unavailable at the time of the meeting. Overall, SRMC has an operating budget of $105.7 Million. Considering that 70% of the operating funds are from revenue collections, for FY 2024, SRMC projects an estimated $72.3 Million in net patient revenues. Compared to FY 2023’s total of $59.5 million, this is an increase that is credited to simplifying collections and adding profitable service lines. Thus far, improvements to the collection process have included registration, documentation, coding, and billing. Furthermore, SRMC aims to replace contract labor with permanent employees and monitor expenditures for supplies and pharmaceutical purchases. Despite the projected rise in net patient revenues, SRMC continues to be plagued with uncompensated care. For FY 2024, SRMC estimates approximately $27,728,676.30 for uncompensated care and $3,097,253.31 for the local Medicaid match. Senator Frett-Gregory praised SRMC for the increased revenue collections and advised officials to develop cash management strategies and hire a Chief Financial Officer.

Masserae Sprauve Webster, Chief Executive Officer at Frederiksted Health Care Inc., delivered testimony. For FY 2024, the Governor’s recommended General Lumpsum totals $2,700,000 from the Miscellaneous section of the budget. The breakdown of the General Fund is as follows: $1,941,946 for personnel services; $408,054 for fringe benefits; $175,000 for supplies; $75,000 for professional services; $100,000 for utilities; and $75,000 for other services and charges. The overall FY 2024 budget totals $14,832,312 and consists of $2,700,000 for the General Fund, $2,772,312 for the Federal Fund, and $9,360,000 for program income. Senator Frett Gregory inquired about the total amount for FY 2023 uncompensated care. Jacqueline Rhymer George, Chief Financial Officer, stated the combined total of FY 2021–2023 is $412 Million.

Tess Richards, MD, Interim Director of the St. Thomas East End Medical Center Corporation, stated that they are currently in FY 2024, beginning in March 2023–February 2024. Projected expenditures for FY 2024 total $10,759,816. The Governor has proposed a $2,100,000 General Fund appropriation from the Miscellaneous Section of the budget. As of May 30, 2023, STEEMCC’s allotment totaled $1,399,944 with an unallotted balance of $700,056, the same amount appropriated in Act No. 8617. This is the same as the appropriation for Fiscal Year 2024. STEEMCC is requesting $3,448,195. Compared to the Governor’s recommendation, this is an increase of $1,348,195, according to the post-audit report. Defending the budget, Steven Mayers, Chief Financial Officer of STEEMCC, stated that to optimize patient care, the funds will enable the agency to hire additional employees, expand the range of services offered, and extend hours of operation.

Senators present at the meeting are Donna A. Frett-Gregory, Novelle E. Francis, Jr., Marvin A. Blyden, Jr., Diane T. Capehart, Milton E. Potter, Samuel Carrión, Dwayne M. DeGraff, Ray Fonseca, Javan E. James, Sr., and Carla J. Joseph. ###

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