The hurricane season has arrived, how time flies. Last year, although not a year for multiple storms, Hurricane Irma slammed the state of Florida in more ways than one. After the storm, the focus quickly shifted to protecting residents in the event of power outage which evolved into new mandates established by the state of Florida along with local counties and municipalities in an effort to ensure resident safety and comfort during such horrific natural disasters.
With that, here is our annual reminder for our long term care friends of the more important financial issues when dealing with disasters:
Cash is king
When a major storm is imminent, ensure sufficient cash is on hand with several key staff members or department heads so they can adequately perform their necessary functions. Credit/debit cards don’t work well in a world without power.
Make sure your office manager keeps an accurate account of expenditures for hurricane-related costs and tracks all receipts during and after the disaster, especially when cash is involved. It’s easy to lose control of cash flows during and after a disaster and, unfortunately, some people take advantage of poor oversight when they think no one is looking.
Secure your records
To preserve important financial history and support claims for insurance, tax and reimbursement, consider offsite storage of critical records. At a minimum, 10 years of financial statements and 7 years of tax returns and general ledgers should be in a secure, storm and flood-proof location.
Placements of 30 days or less are generally considered temporary. If temporary, the transferring facility continues to bill and should pay for the services rendered by the receiving facility. If the transfer is permanent, the receiving facility should bill for services. Providers should act now to ensure their transfer agreements with other facilities are up to date and executed properly to avoid any problems during a disaster.