By Carol Cole

CNHI News Service

Twenty-five days after taking possession of the bankrupt Moore Medical Center, the Norman Regional Hospital Authority board approved a $7.7 million budget for the last four months of fiscal year 2007, March through June.

Melvin Alexander, NRH vice president of finance, said his team had 15 days to start out the Moore facility with no budget, after closing on the property March 1.

The newly approved Moore budget projects $7.18 million in revenues against $7.72 million in expenses.

However, Alexander points out that there is $528,637 of depreciation factored into the expense numbers.

That leaves an about $13,000 net loss projected for the next four months.

Just getting to the point of having a budget was not easy.

“A lot of midnight oil,” Alexander said.

Norman Regional had a payroll to make for MMC’s 372 employees, including 214 full-time employees, within a week of the purchase.

Salaries make up about $3.25 million of the expenses. Employee benefits make up about another $641,628.

Budget projections were made by looking at the activity from the previous year and daily reports received from MMC, Alexander said.

“That confirmed that our assumptions are good that we made with the budget going forward,” he said.

Alexander said Moore had 206 admissions for March through Monday.

They estimate 868 hospital admissions for MMC from March to June, with an average length of stay of 2.4 days. That translates to about 2,084 patient days.

The Moore emergency department projects 6,874 in emergency room visits.

And the Moore hospital is estimated to deliver 267 babies from March to June.

“The budget is conservative but achievable,” Alexander said.

The NRH staff is working on a revised organizational chart for Moore.

Some of the Moore administrative duties like finance will be taken in-house at Norman Regional. Registration will remain on site, with the two hospitals merging their registration systems.

“We will look at each ancillary area specifically,” said NRH President and CEO David Whitaker. “But all the overhead functions, support functions … will basically be here.”

He said there would be an administrator on-site for Moore.

“There will be someone specifically in charge of Moore,” he said.

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