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Regional Medical Center

The Regional Medical Center brought in more money than expected in October, the first month of its new fiscal year.

"I think we can all agree that we are moving in the positive direction," RMC Chairman the Rev. Dr. Caesar Richburg said during last week’s board meeting.

"We are in a much better position than we were opposed to 10 to 12 months ago,” he said.

RMC saw gross patient revenues of $74.2 million for the month of October, which is about $5.5 million more than the hospital budgeted, according to information provided at last week’s board meeting.

After deductions, the hospital had total net revenues $19.5 million for the month. That’s up about 4.3 percent from the budgeted amount of $18.4 million.

With total operating expenses at $18.7 million for the month, the hospital saw a gain of about $762,000.

The hospital has seen a reduction in its use of the more expensive contract employees.

For the month of October, RMC had 31 contract employees compared to about 82 last October.

The 31 contract employees is the lowest number the hospital has had in a year.

The entire system -- including the RMC's primary care practices – made $732,263 in October. Last October, the hospital system had total loss of about $900,000.

In other matters:

• Trustee Gladys Arends said there are three local students who are participating in the hospital's fall Nurturing the Pipeline program.

The program is a collaborative effort between RMC and local colleges. It’s designed to encourage underrepresented minority students from South Carolina, especially Orangeburg and Calhoun counties, to stay in the state to attend medical school.

The three students are Claflin University junior Daniel Farquharson, who is interested in becoming a traveling doctor; South Carolina State University junior Myrandi Roper, who wants to become an OB/GYN nurse practitioner and Jarret Houston, who is interested in going into research.

The program includes job shadowing opportunities for the students.

"We certainly wish these young people well and we also hope that when they complete their medical training, they'll come back here to practice," Arends said.

• Trustees entered into executive to discuss a number of items, including the recent Leapfrog survey. The hospital received an F for patient safety. The hospital was the only one of 46 surveyed in the state and one of 17 nationally to receive a failing grade.

According to the meeting agenda, Interim Director of Quality Management and Medical Staff Services Mickey Whisenhunt provided trustees with an update on the survey; risk management/patient safety; nursing workforce and hand hygiene.

There was no discussion about the survey or its results in open session.

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Contact the writer: gzaleski@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5551. Check out Zaleski on Twitter at @ZaleskiTD.

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Staff Writer

Gene Zaleski is a reporter/staff writer with The Times and Democrat.

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