Among the 25 in Mississippi, MRHC is one of those ranked “above the national average” for financial strength in the study, which gauged factors such as profitability, liquidity, capital structure, age of facilities and solvency. It is based on audited financial reports for 2009 through 2012.
In the immediate area, the only other facility included in the study is Tippah County Hospital in Ripley, which is one of only four that are considered “of most concern.”
The auditor’s office is providing the report to each of the hospitals’ administration, legislative leaders and local officials.
Magnolia ranked 8th among the 15 hospitals that scored above the national average based on the financial strength index. Magnolia had a mean index of 1.23 from 2009 to 2012. Neshoba County General Hospital topped the list with a mean of 5.6. Tippah scored an index of -2.51.
“With this study, we found that while four hospitals are at risk, most are in very good financial standing and above national standards in most cases,” State Auditor Stacy Pickering said.
The report notes the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s estimate that almost 55 percent of Mississippi’s 2012 population is rural, and those populations tend to be poorer and insured at lower rates than urban residents. That puts the rural hospitals in the position of absorbing the costs of providing care to an underinsured population that has higher rates of morbidity and mortality.
The hospitals have faced a changing financial climate due to public and private forces and a changing definition of “rural,” the report says.
“These local hospitals are necessary not just in providing Mississippians access to quality health care but in playing a vital role in our communities as an economic engine,” said Pickering.
The full report (2014 Rural Hospital Assessment) is available at http://www.osa.state.ms.us/reports.aspx .