"Clerical Error" Makes Flowers Country's Most Profitable Hospital

By: Tim Elliott Email
By: Tim Elliott Email

A recent survey published by Forbes magazine names Flowers Hospital in Dothan the most profitable hospital in the United States.

But Flowers interim CEO Suzanne Woods says the information submitted to the magazine was incorrect.

“Clearly, it was a clerical reporting error that does not accurately represent our performance,”

Woods says the mix-up happened at Flowers corporate company, Community Health Systems. She says that's where the numbers became jumbled.

“So somewhere in that process of it being worked on at corporate and being submitted, there was an error to one portion to the cost report,”

The survey shows Flowers posted a 53% operating margin.

“I think it would be nearly an impossible thing in today's health care environment.
“Clearly, a 53% margin, where subsequently you would pay taxes out of that also, would be a very unrealistic number,”

Flowers says their operating margin was actually 12%.

“Our reported patient revenue was overstated by about $180 million,”

Woods says she recently spoke with Forbes to clear up the mistake.

“I think they understand that mistakes do happen,”

She says this minor mix-up won't tarnish her hospital's already stellar reputation.

“We do excellent care giving for the patients that we serve. We have been number in the country, we're still number one in the state of Alabama, and so this clerical error does not negate what our caregivers do at the bedside,”

The survey was compiled by the American Hospital Directory.

It’s based on figures that hospitals must report to the federal Medicare program every year.

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