The Prince George's County public hospital system, which last year lost $6.5 million and instituted stringent measures to curb costs, will show an unaudited $1 million surplus for the year ending last month, officials announced yesterday.
Winfield M. Kelly Jr., the head of the corporation that manages Prince George's General Hospital and two other county-owned health facilities, said the bulk of the improvement came from "greater efficiency in spending."
He also credited efforts by County Executive Parris Glendening, who made provisions to "help us make the payroll." A year ago, the county took over collection of the health facilities' $10 million in unpaid billings. The county also gave the hospital $2.7 million, hospital officials said.
In addition to the county funds, hospital officials laid off about 650 employes last fall and instituted aggressive bill collecting techniques, according to Kelly.
The hospital officials said the financial statements will not be audited until early September.
Management of the three public health facilities was turned over to the nonprofit Community Hospital & Health Care Systems Inc. in 1983 because county officials thought the system was costing too much money and not being run efficiently.
But CHHCS has had recurring financial problems, and Kelly said yesterday that last year the hospitals were "moving toward a bankrupt position."
"When I came on board in July 1985 , I knew the hospital system had difficult financial problems," he said.
Hospital admissions dropped 10 percent from last year, bringing the number of patients this year to between 56 and 83 percent of capacity, Kelly said.
However, hospital officials said that because of the cost-cutting measures and the funds from the county, the hospital system's financial situation had improved.
Kelly noted that "cash flow has been enhanced to the point where monthly receipts consistently exceed disbursements."
Kelly said he expects a projected net income of $3 million for the 1987 fiscal year, which began July 1.
Kelly acknowledged that past financial problems had hampered adequate patient care and threatened accreditation.
But he said purchasing "state of the art" machinery and boosting employe moral with social and financial incentives are keys in reversing those effects.
Nurses at the Prince George's General Hospital say that they are still trying to recover from the layoff of 63 nurses last August.
One of their major concerns is that they must often attend a much larger number of patients.
"Staffing is still our ultimate concern," said Deborah Wilkes, vice president of the Prince George's County chapter of the Maryland Nurses Association.
"Hospital officials say that they are trying to improve the working conditions but nurses are still leaving."