Officials at Lake City Community Hospital in South Carolina say the facility is making money but still faces $5 million of debt. The Lower Florence County Hospital District Board is trying to find ways to save money without cutting any of the 250 jobs the hospital provides.
Renegotiating payment schedules with private insurance companies is one possibility. Board members also are discussing offsetting debt with the state's Association of Counties, which allows individual's outstanding bills to be collected from their state income tax return, a payment collection method that was discontinued last summer.
Bad debt is running at $550,000 a month, with the emergency room contributing significantly. Bad debt includes patients with no insurance and insurance co-payments that are 120 days old.