9-Year-Old Boy Dies After Being Shot in Head in Croixville Housing Community; Police Detain 15-Year-Old

Concerned Residents Clean Christiansted Town Using Their Own Tools, Money, and Some Help from the VI Fire Service

Territory May See Veterans Cemetery Through DeGazon-Sponsored Bill

Credit and Debit Cards of WAPA Customers Were Compromised Since August 30th, WAPA Says, Authority to Finally Start Issuing Notification Via Mail and Email

Sports Tourism in VI Gains Momentum as DC United Team is set to Play Exhibition Soccer Game on St. Croix

Carnival Breeze Brings 3,700 Tourists to St. Croix During Maiden Call; Senators, Tourism Officials Want to See More

Limetree Bay Willing To Provide $10 Million To Help Add Life to a Dying G.E.R.S.

American Airlines to Serve St. Croix With New Flights Next Summer

The Sudden Death of Influential Roots Reggae Visionary, Vaughn Benjamin of Midnite Band and Akae Beka, Has Rocked the Virgin Islands and Reggae Community Around the World

Arthur A. Richards K-8 School Hosts Anti-Bullying Campaign

Come Out. Hang Out. Have Fun at The Meat Up, One of St. Thomas’ Latest Hot-Spot for Good Food with Friends and Family.

UVI Board of Trustees Approves $47.1 Million Fiscal Year 2020 Budget; Sets $3 Million Fundraising Goal

Man Dies During Early Morning Car Accident on St. Croix; Driver of Car Arrested (Updated)

'You Did Everything You Could to Prevent this from Happening': An Emotional Goodbye to Young Aaron Benjamin

Back in Business: Cost U Less on St. Thomas Opened its Doors Friday to Thousands of Customers 2 Years after Irma and Maria

Bill Aimed at Regulating Credit Use by Gov't Departments and Agencies Among Others Held in Committee

Juan Luis Hospital Announces Completion and Availability of Mobile Dialysis Facilities

Tractor Trailer With Tank Carrying Thousands Of Gallons of Liquified Gas Flips Near Cool Out Bar; Driver Injured But Alive

Credit and Debit Card Hack Through WAPA Appears to be Widespread in Virgin Islands; WAPA Says Support Services Will be Made Available to Affected Customers

Facing Life in Prison Without Parole, Mother and Boyfriend Plead Not Guilty in Murder of 4-Year-Old Boy

Schneider CEO: Hospital Struggling Financially, Owes Close To $18 Million To Creditors

Featured / Health / News / Virgin Islands / February 25, 2015

Dr. Bernard A. Wheatley, CEO of St. Thomas’ Roy Lester Schneider Regional Medical Center (SRMC), Tuesday, in testimony before the Committee on Health, Hospitals & Human Services, chaired by Sen. Kurt Vialet, detailed the financial woes of the medical center and revealed that the hospital has an outstanding accounts payable debt of close to $18 million.

Dr. Wheatley told senators that the current level of funding makes it difficult for the facility to render the full scope of services expected by the community. He said appropriations are insufficient to meet the mandate of operating the only acute care hospital in the St. Thomas-St. John District, the cancer institute, and a 24-hour urgent care clinic on St. John.

SRMC is facing serious financial difficulty, Dr. Wheatley admitted, especially with the facility’s outstanding debt of $17,738, 667 to its creditors.

The CEO said there are four major challenges threatening the financial health of SRMC, including: competition from freestanding surgery centers. That is, a significant number of surgeries have migrated away from the hospital’s operating rooms to external surgical facilities; difficulty staying on top of raises for their nurses, clinical and ancillary staff due to reduced funding; the cost of replacing permanent staff with higher-cost agency staff, and reductions in the workforce because of budgetary cuts; and the Fiscal Year 2014 operating loss of the Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center at $2,170, 628.

Regarding the FY 2015 projected budget, Dr. Wheatley said expenses are $106.5 million, reflecting a decrease of less than 5 percent from FY 2014 unaudited financial statements. According to him, salaries and wages represent a total operating expense of $36.2; fringe benefits account for $9.3; professional fees proposed at $12.4 million; materials and supplies proposed at $17.7 million; other services and charges budgeted at $5 million; utilities costs at $5.9 million, which reflected an increase in utility rates and increased services.

According to Dr. Wheatley, SRMC has a total of 533 employees; of this number, 292 are paid through the Government General and Revolving Fund on a NOPA basis. The remaining 261 are employed through a hospital contract, and receive health insurance benefits, but not retirement benefits. The hospital contract is funded through SRMC’s operational funds.

Dr. Wheatley told Vialet he estimates it would take $2 million to have all staff be NOPA employees. When asked by Vialet, he agreed that it would make sense for the hospital’s 261 contracted employees to become full-time employees.

Vialet explained that his line of questioning had to do with the necessity of devising a plan to sustain the financial viability of the Government Employees Retirement System, which continues to lose its members.

“If we were suppose to devise a method in which we can get all of the hospital employees who are not receiving GERS to come online,”  Vialet began, “then we would have automatically five to six hundred employees who would be paying GERS on a regular basis, and in fact, help the retirement system.”

The hospital also has 17 part-time and 24 per-diem employees.

Officials from the Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center also testified at the hearing, where hospital CEO Dr. Kendall Griffith was criticized for doling out $720,000 in raises, even as the hospital continues to struggle financially.


Cynthia Graham

Previous Post

Mock Disaster Drill At Cyril E. King Airport On Friday

Next Post

King Christian Hotel Intrusion Investigation, Intruder Flees At Victim's Command

You might also like

Leave a Reply

More Story

Mock Disaster Drill At Cyril E. King Airport On Friday

If the sight at St. Thomas' Cyril E. King airport seems somewhat unusual on Friday it will be because a full-scale emergency...

February 25, 2015