Samaritan Healthcare beating budget targets

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MOSES LAKE — Samaritan Healthcare was running ahead of its budget targets at the end of November 2017, and the prospects for 2017 as a whole are looking positive. That was the conclusion of the monthly financial report given to Samaritan healthcare commissioners Tuesday.

“We’ll finish off the year very strong, in comparison to what we had budgeted,” said chief financial officer Alex Town.

Net income for November was $370,782, which was above the budget projection, Town said. For 2017 through November, the hospital and Samaritan Clinic generated $3.7 million in net revenue.

Overall, gross inpatient revenue – before any expenses are deducted – was above the budget target in November, at $17.9 million. Town said that’s the result of an increase in obstetrics and medical admissions. Samaritan Clinic revenue also was above budget and for the year through the end of November, the result of additional doctors, physician assistants and nurse practitioners at the clinic, Town said.

Outpatient revenue is below budget targets, however, both for November and for 2017 through November. Town said that’s due to fewer general surgeries and fewer OB/GYN procedures, which is due to fewer surgeons.

But neither public or private insurance actually pay what is billed, Town said. The hospital is paid at a rate of about 35 to 36 cents for each dollar billed, he said.

The hospital also provides care that it doesn’t get paid for at all: bad debt and charity care. By the end of November, Samaritan had provided $5.7 million in uncompensated care, Town said, which represented about 3 percent in gross patient revenue.

Increased revenue was accompanied by increased expenses. Expenses were up 3.5 percent over budget in November and 3.6 percent for 2017 through November. But, Town said, while expenses were above budget targets, total operating revenue was above budget targets too. For November it was $423,837, 6.9 percent over the budget target, while for the year through November it’s $2.4 million, 3.7 percent above budget target.

The hospital failed to meet its target for getting out bills, called days in accounts receivable. Town said hospital officials had contracted with an outside agency, but that it wasn’t easy to manage an outside vendor. As a result hospital officials will use hospital personnel to run that service.

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