Samaritan Healthcare in the black through end of May

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MOSES LAKE — Chief administrative officer Alex Town expressed optimism that Samaritan Healthcare’s financial position will help hospital officials obtain favorable terms when they negotiate a construction loan. Town reviewed the May financial report at the regular commission meeting Tuesday.

Net income for the hospital was $780,531 for May, and is $2,901,502 for 2019 through the end of May. Net income was $1,909,861 through the same period in 2018.

When it comes to obtaining favorable terms for financing, “we’re in a great position,” Town said. Total operating revenue is in line with budget projections, Town said, but expenses are about 3.6 percent below the budget projections.

Inpatient revenue for May was above budget projections by about eight percent. Town said that was due to increases in surgical cases. “Ortho (orthopedics) is driving that,” Town said, but there are also increases in podiatry and ear, nose and throat surgeries.

Outpatient revenue also beat the budget targets by about 10.6 percent. Town said that’s due to increases in lab usage, the imaging department and outpatient surgeries. It’s also a reflection of the fact Samaritan has hired more medical professionals, Town said.

“Pretty good for the first five months.”

Samaritan Clinic is under budget projections but, Town said, revenue is higher than in the same period in 2018.

Expenses were $8.1 million in May, which actually was below the budget projection. In fact, expenses are below budget projections for the year. Areas where expenses were running close to or over budget included temporary manpower, leases and supplies.

More patients require more supplies, and sometimes also additional nurses and doctors to plug staffing gaps. Becky DeMers, executive director of strategic projects, said hospital officials have been hiring staff, but that business has been expanding at a rate that means staffing has lagged behind demand.

Construction is underway on a building to house the hospital’s new MRI, which will eliminate the need to lease one. Town said construction should be completed by late September.

Bad debt and charity care (uncompensated care) for 2019 were $2,362,337 through the end of May. The hospital district is on track to provide more than $5 million in bad debt and charity care by the end of the year, Town said.

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

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