ALPENA - The Alpena Regional Medical Center Finance Committee received and approved the finanical audit as presented, and will watch the new fiscal year closely due to predicted upcoming changes in health care. Auditors Mike Baker and Nick Meader of Plante and Moran, LLC presented the 2011-12 financial audit reports to the committee on Thursday, and the committee will recommend the audit's approval to the full board during its next regular meeting.
"There were no difficulties performing the audit, and there were no significant adjustments. The biggest change was an increase in cash/cash equivalents," Meader said.
According to Baker, health care reforms will bring a shift from uninsured and commercial insurances to new health insurance exchanges including Medicaid starting in 2014.
"The biggest issue is reimbursement rates for health insurance exchanges, the big unknown," Baker said.
According to Baker some of the major trends in health care include consolidations, closures, stark law violations, cost containment, struggles with volume, increase in compensated care, changes to insurances, and property tax issues.
Overall, Baker said ARMC has a "strong balance sheet," but contributing factors and possible changes to health care, including a 2 percent cut to Medicare scheduled for Jan. 1, 2013, will require controlling expenses.
"You had a good year financially, but you have to continue to key in on the expense side ... 2012 is shaping up to be a big year for health care," Baker said.
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Emily Siegmon can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5687.