Letters to the Editor

Financial health of HEMC addressed
To the editor:
The financial health of HEMC can be addressed by some key ratios that are widely accepted by the financial sector in testing an entity’s financial health or “stress test.” Additionally, comparative financial information from 2016-17 paints a dismal corroborating picture.
HEMC’s April 30 audited financial statements reveal some concerns when a selection of these accepted ratios and comparisons are viewed.
• Current ratio (current assets: cash or will be cash within 30 days versus current liabilities or obligations due and payable within 30 days): 1.00:1.63 current assets to current liabilities or $1.00 current assets to $1.63 in current liabilities. This relationship would reflect the inability of HEMC to meet obligations normally defined as 30 days;
• Total debt to gross income (total debt including post-retirement healthcare benefits): 1.12:1.00 total debt to gross revenue or $1.12 of total debt to $1.00 of gross revenue;
• Decline in gross income from 2016-17: Gross income declined from 2016-17 by 5.7 percent, $65,413,683 to $61,689,936. This sounds an alarm that meeting obligations in the future could be threatened;
• Decline in net income from 2016-17 (comprehensive income): Net income declined from $2,736,874 in 2016 to $1,060,664 in 2017 or 61 percent. A signal that an austerity initiative should be adopted as soon as possible;
• Net decrease cash and cash equivalents: This line item reflects the amount of remaining cash flow from all sources to fund every aspect of HEMC’s operations. The 2016 amount was negative ($58,739) and 2017 is negative ($1,784,250). In other words, HEMC is using net borrowings and net equity to sustain its existence.
These ratios and comparisons point to trouble in the near future and threaten the ability of HEMC’s ability to repay debt, which at this time is essentially being paid with draws from lines of credit.
The future of HEMC resides in responsible management with strategic redirection to establishing financial strength. According to footnote entitled Debt, “Substantially all assets of the Corporation are pledged as security for long-term debt…” Members now hear this: that includes Patronage Capital or your money.
Jonathan F. Anderson
Thanks to Habersham Medical Center
To the editor:
On Sunday, Sept. 23, while visiting from out of state, my husband developed cardiac issues that prompted an immediate visit to the emergency room at Habersham Medical Center. We were so pleased with the professionalism and competency of the entire hospital staff.
From reception and triage, to nurses, technicians and business personnel, my husband had excellent care.
With a prompt diagnosis by our knowledgeable and caring physician, Dr. Christopher Ratchford, the EMTs took great care in transporting him to Northeast Georgia Medical Center.
Habersham County should be proud and is fortunate to have such great facility in its midst.
Thank you HMC.
Margaret Eufaula Merkley
Seaford, Delaware

Northeast Georgian

Mailing Address:
2440 Old Athens Hwy
Cornelia, GA 30531

Phone: 706-778-4215
Fax: 706-778-4114