Samaritan operations still in the black

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MOSES LAKE — Samaritan Healthcare made money in April – although not quite as much as budget projections – and is ahead of budget projections for the year. The hospital has a net income of $2,120,521 for 2019 through the end of April.

Chief administrative officer Alex Town delivered the monthly financial update at the regular commission meeting Tuesday.

Town said net revenue for April was $460,383, slightly below the budget projection. But net income in the first quarter was above budget projections, so the hospital is above the budget goal for the year to date.

Gross revenue was lower than budget projections in April. Inpatient revenue was lower than projections due to a decrease in obstetrics and general medical admissions. Inpatient revenue is over budget projections for the year, mostly due to an increase in surgeries, Town said.

Samaritan Clinic revenue was below the budget projection in April and is under the projection for the year. But the clinic’s budget was set up to reflect the arrival of more doctors, physician assistants and nurse practitioners. Most have been hired but they will arrive in the second half of 2019, Town said.

Hospital utilization typically decreases during the summer, Town said, and increases during the fall and winter. The arrival of new medical professionals also will have an impact, Town said – hospital officials have hired a new pediatrician and new family practice physicians and expanded the orthopedic department, among others.

The hospital provided $527,984 in bad debt writeoffs and charity care in April, which actually is below the budget projection. For 2019 through the end of April, bad debt and charity care have cost the hospital district $1,847,653. That’s also below the budget projection.

Expenses for the month were below budget projections. Town said district officials think it will be necessary to hire some short-term physicians (called locum tenens) while the new family medicine clinic on Patton Boulevard is being opened.

The hospital’s available cash (reflected in the financial statements as cash on hand) went down, Town said, due to a land purchase. Hospital officials bought property on Yonezawa Boulevard, buying the last piece at the site of the proposed new hospital.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at education@columbiabasinherald.com.

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