Slow Tax Returns Slowing Hospital Funds

 A new computer operating system installed at the Laurens County Hospital this past fall has slowed the progress of financial reports to the board. This week, it appears that the system is being worked out so the reports are now being caught up. At the March meeting of the Health Care System’s Board of Directors Tuesday night, they received an update on the financial performance of the Laurens County Hospital for January and February.

 Hospital CFO Will Grant said January was fairly close to what was budgeted, but still registered a loss. February registered a profit, but not as much as anticipated. Grant noted that February is usually a very good month because that’s when the hospital receives funds from the state set-aside program, where the state sends state income tax returns to pay for an overdue hospital bill. The hospital Vice President of Finance said it appears that a lot of people who usually file their income tax returns online filed their South Carolina income tax returns by paper this year, perhaps worried about the breach of security with the South Carolina Department of Revenue.  Another thing slowing up tax returns this year, Will Grant noted, is that the federal tax season was delayed a couple weeks due to last minute changes in the federal tax code. Grant said he expects the “set-aside” money that is usually seen on the books in February to be spread over several months this year.

  Hospital CEO Rich D’Alberto said he was discussing this issue with the Greenville Hospital folks Tuesday, and they believe the state set-aside payments to hospitals could be coming in as late as May this year.