CPM Spring 2020 - 6

daup h i n cm s .org

President's Message

Dauphin County
Medical Society:

Heath B Mackley, MD, MBA, FACRO
President, DCMS


t seems like a lifetime ago, but in January I visited Pennsylvania Medical
Society (PAMED) headquarters to review the archives of the Dauphin
County Medical Society (DCMS), which included reviewing membership
rolls and financial statements. What on earth would possess me to do
such a thing? As the incoming President, I had an impression of the key trends
of DCMS based on attending meetings regularly. However, the skeptic in me
wasn't sure my assumptions actually lined up with the facts. Things might be
better than I anticipated, or they may be worse. But I wanted to know for sure.

I gave a more detailed presentation to the Board of Governors in March, but
I wanted to share my key findings with our members. #1: DCMS membership
is as strong as it has ever been. Despite the gradual decrease in membership
in organized medicine across the board, on national and state levels, DCMS
has not experienced this same decline. But the skeptic might ask, what about
paying members? Again, the same finding is true. #2: DCMS is on a sound
financial footing. Using net assets as the metric of interest, DCMS' net assets
increased from end of year 2018 to end of year 2019. Furthermore, it has been
relatively stable over a twenty-year period, with a slight downtrend. This is
also true looking at total revenue. There is enough cash on hand to weather a
short-term problem, and there is a modest principal which produces a nondues revenue stream. #3: DCMS breaks even on most years. As a not for profit
professional society, DCMS' goal is to be sustainable, not to pay dividends to
shareholders. Consistent with that, net income has oscillated up and down
around zero, with 2019 being a "positive" year. #4: Dues are not enough
to break even, and haven't been for at least twenty years. My final analysis
eliminated financial income from the equation of net income, and basically
took our dues and fees and subtracted our costs to see if we still break even.
We do not. This came as no surprise to me, but what did surprise me is that
this has been the case for at least twenty years. Does that make it "okay"? I
would argue that just because an issue has been persistent doesn't mean it's no
longer a problem. But this is not a recent problem either. And why would that
concern me? If we are dependent on financial income, then times of distress in
financial markets will leave us with a large operating deficit, and although we

Spring 2020 Central PA Medicine


CPM Spring 2020

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