This paper deals with discussion of the financial aspect of two selected Hospitals from the free area of American Hospitals. The list of American Hospitals belonging to this category is long, but this research narrows down to the selection of two that is, Harrison County Health Department and Georgia Department of Community Health. These two hospitals have well updated financial statements; hence, this project prefers them for a detailed discussion. According to studies, the financial position of the hospital undergoes an annual Summary, whereby their financial performance for the period emerges (Gapenski & Pink, 2007). The reports from each hospital is auditable and so each of them prepare comprehensive budget at the start of the year.
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Discussing the Financial Position
The financial position of these two hospitals reflects the fact that they operate as mission hospitals, and that their principal objective is not entirely profit-making enterprise, even though Georgia Department of Community Health measures its profitability. They depend on donors for funding and at the end of a financial period; they have either surplus or deficit. For Harrison County Health Department, we view the financial position by evaluation the cornerstone elements of financial statements such as the deficit, surplus. Likewise, for Georgia Department of Community Health, the research explores the nature of its expenses against income from grants and federal resource allocation. The same system of position determination follows, involving a comparison between income and expenditure.
Harrison County Health Department Financial position
This research refers to an extract of the financial statement of Harrison County Health Department for the year 2011. The statement reflects a pattern of income and expenditure with the highest expense emanating from Personal Services to the tune of US$415,250.00, and the total expense for the period was US$575,971.56. The total income according to the statement added up to a total of US$591,523.60. The surplus after all the expenditure consideration was US$15,552.04.
Georgia Department of Community Health
For Georgia Department of Community Health, the expenditure summed up to US$520,750 while the sum of all incomes came to US$570,300. This leaves a surplus of US$49,550. What contributes to higher surplus for Georgia Department of Community Health is the fact that the institution has mobilized community-based income generating sources from within rather than depending on external grants. For Georgia Department of Community Health Department, Salaries and taxes takes only 53 percent of the total revenue.
Similarities between The two Hospitals
On comparing the two hospitals, one is able to notice that there are similarities and differences. One of the similarities is evident, that both of them prepare their financial reports annually. They both publish financial position and audit report once in a year, and have a one-year financial strategy. Secondly, they both operate as community based health organizations. Both Georgia Department of Community Health and Harrison County Health Department have in their agenda, the sustainability of community of access to Hospital and health services. They do this by first implementing a sustainable financial plan. Their target group is the community, and therefore they channel all their resources towards articulating the needs of the community, for health and social empowerment.
Differences between the Two Hospitals
There are a number of differences between the two hospitals as each of them has a unique system of financial administration. In the case of Harrison County Health Department, their financial system essentially measures the compatibility between their resources to the contemporary needs of the society. On the other hand, for Georgia Department of Community Health, their financial system measures essential dimensions such as profitability, liquidity, revenue and resource utilization.
Financial controllers then compile financial data to publish auditable financial information. Harrison County Health Department health covers human clinical services as well as animal veterinary services, and its budget is widespread. Georgia Department of Community Health services only records its financial statements indicating human clinical services.
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One surprise that comes from the Harrison County Health Department is the fact that they have so many sources of income, yet two major expenses (personal expenses and employee benefits) consume more than 84 percent of the total funds available (Cleverley et al, 2010). One wonders how the hospital sustains its financial operation with such an unbalanced budget. Moreover, it remains intriguing, how the hospital remains with surplus.
For Georgia Department of Community Health, it is surprising that amidst high debt to capital ratio, they are able to mitigate their high-risk exposure and generate surplus at the end of the financial period. It is surprising, the comprehensive way in which Harrison County Health financial controller records budget and end-year reports. It covers a range of years for comparison purposes.
These hospitals are sample case studies of the significance of proper financial management for health institutions. There is a critical need for access to health but poverty is a major constrain for many communities. Thus, community-based organizations play a vital role if filing the gap between poverty and sustainable access to health. It shows therefore that financial health has a direct relation to physical health.
Cleverley, W. O., Cleverley, J.O. & Song, P. H. (2010). Essentials of Health Care Finance. USA: PublisherJones & Bartlett Publishers.
Gapenski, L. C. & Pink, G. H. (2007). Understanding Healthcare Financial management (Fifth Edition). Chicago, Illinois: Health Administration Press.