A decline in patient revenue compared to budget remains a concern for the financially-struggling University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, UAMS leaders told the UA System Board of Trustees, meeting in Monticello, Wednesday. However, UAMS’ Medicaid match requirements, equity investments and savings in non-clinical areas are helping UAMS meet its budget, which includes a deficit of $39 million.

UAMS also told the trustees that it can meet the budget if it “continues efforts at cost reduction through the balance of the year.” UAMS provided a summary of its presentation to the Arkansas Times. Eight months into the fiscal year, clinical revenues are under budget by $41.6 million, thanks to a $16 million decrease in revenues and an increase in expenses of $24.9 million.

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To further stress the university’s need for more dollars from the state, the leadership presented comparisons of Arkansas’s appropriation to Mississippi’s and South Carolina’s: The University of Mississippi Medical Center’s state appropriation in 2017 was $172.5 million (14 percent of its revenues), the Medical University of South Carolina’s state dollars were $133.6 million (5.7 percent of its revenues) and Arkansas’s were $31.2 million (2 percent of its revenues). UAMS fired 238 employees this year and eliminated 370 positions that were vacant to address its deficit.