Hospital Board Further Reduces Millage Rate Even After Covering Increased Expenses from COVID-19
The Board of Commissioners of the South Broward Hospital District, which oversees the operations for Memorial Healthcare System, voted on a new millage rate during its September board meeting. The Board voted to adopt a millage rate of 0.1199.
This is the tenth year in a row that the Board has voted to lower the overall millage rate for the District with 0.1199 resulting in the lowest rate in the history of the South Broward Hospital District. The 0.1199 millage rate represents a 4.84 percent decrease from last year’s rate of 0.1260. The resulting gross tax revenues are estimated to reach $7.8 million.
“These are unprecedented times for our healthcare system and our community, and we continue to face and manage many challenges. Given Memorial’s outstanding leadership and sound financial stewardship, we felt confident to pass on these savings to the communities we serve,” said Douglas Harrison, Chairman, South Broward Hospital District Board of Commissioners.
After accounting for early payment discounts and a certain percentage of uncollectible taxes, the anticipated tax payments this year of $7.6 million will provide the District enough revenue to cover its governmental obligations, which include paying Broward County’s Medicaid Match program and community redevelopment agencies in several municipalities in south Broward County, as well as tax collector commissions and property appraiser fees.
The newly adopted millage rate will leave no net tax revenue to fund uncompensated care. The District will use operating income to cover all uncompensated care costs for the entire Memorial Healthcare System, including its six hospitals and its nine Memorial Primary Care clinics. In fiscal year 2021, uncompensated care is projected to exceed $1.6 billion.
This historic reduction comes at a time when Memorial Healthcare System has responded with excellence, dedication and leadership to the COVID-19 pandemic and the community it serves, providing life-saving care to thousands of patients while keeping its frontline workforce safe. In addition, it continues to train the doctors and nurses of the future. The Graduate Medical Education Program has now an expanded list of 12 residencies, including two fellowship programs in cardiovascular disease and hematology and medical oncology.
On the technological front, Memorial expanded access to care through telehealth consults from primary to specialty care to maintain continuity of care during physical restriction periods due to the pandemic. It has added new tools to Memorial MyChart, and continues its successful “Your Right to Know” initiative – providing consumers with an Amazon-like experience in obtaining medical procedure pricing information. Memorial also remains one of only a handful of public hospitals in the nation to achieve AA, Aa3 financial ratings by Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s, respectively.
“We have an amazing leadership team,” said Aurelio M. Fernandez, III, President and CEO, Memorial Healthcare System. “This team has been very responsive throughout the COVID pandemic, while working diligently to maintain a sound financial structure that allow us to reduce the millage rate to the lowest one in the history of our organization.”