JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Singing River Health System released its State of the System report Friday afternoon along with audited financial statements from the system and its troubled pension plan.
CEO Kevin Holland says the health system is moving in the right direction and its Strategic Turnaround Plan is working, but there are still difficult decisions to be made, including cost cutting measures.
"The inaccurate historical financial statements due to the audit issues, combined with the pension plan revelations, have created significant and unprecedented challenges for our organization that have required substantial actions for us to remain viable and sustainable," said Holland.
According to the report, the health system lost a total of $35 million last year. Just six months into this fiscal year, SRHS has slashed those losses to just $4.8 million.
"Though there is still difficult work to be done, that's a significant turnaround and we are proud of the progress we have made over the last year," said Holland. "Most importantly, our clinical quality has never wavered as evidenced by our recent Women's Choice Award as one of America's Best Hospitals for Patient Safety."
To cut costs and save even more money, Holland told employees 14 positions across the health system are being consolidated or eliminated. He said most of the positions are management or supervisory roles.
"In total, this reduction in force represents less than one percent of our total workforce," said Holland.
Holland said by making these labor cuts and other changes to employee benefits, the system can save more than $1.5 million a year.
"While changes that impact employees are the last thing we ever want to do, the savings are significant for our organization and will help speed our recovery, help us meet our bond covenants, and move us closer to achieving the financial stability we need to assure our long term success," said Holland.
Along with the State of the System report, SRHS has also released audited financial statements for the system and its pension fund. You can find links to the documents here: http://www.mysrhs.com/about-us.html.
The audit was done by Horne CPAs and Business Advisors out of Ridgeland. Auditors note the lawsuits pertaining to Singing River Health System's pension fund could be detrimental to SRHS's future.
"The ultimate resolution of the actions pending cannot be reasonably determined, but could have a material adverse effect on the Health System's financial condition, results of operations and its long-term financial viability," auditors write.
Holland said the release of this audit report halfway through the fiscal year is part of the company's transparency.
"My hope is that our employees, retirees and the community we serve can better understand not only what has occurred, but also the aggressive steps we're taking to right the ship," Holland said in the news release.