SCBH taking steps to turn around financial slide

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Monday night’s presentation of the Swift County-Benson Hospital audit for 2014 confirmed what governing board members already knew – the local hospital is in an unsustainable financial slide. And the slope of that fall is getting steeper in 2015.
The principle reason for the fall off in revenues can be tied directly to fewer doctors working out of the Affiliated Community Medical Centers (ACMC) clinic in Benson, people seeking care outside the community, and the resulting loss in use of ancillary services at the hospital.
Though May proved to be a better month than expected, the hospital has lost more than $654,000 through the first five months of 2015.
“We only had a loss of $43,442, which was better than what our budget was,” CEO Kurt Waldbillig said. The reason for the better financials in May than expected was an increase in outpatient use of services, particularly in the operating room and oncology services. But it was still a substantial loss that builds on previous losses.
In  2014, the hospital lost $865,000 – a substantial turnaround from 2013 when there were three doctors working at ACMC in Benson. Two years ago, the hospital had a net profit of $852,000 and 2012 its net profit was $628,800.
What has frustrated the hospital’s governing board is that other hospitals in the area are doing fine. That was also starkly pointed out in Monday night’s audit report when SCBH’s finances were compared to other rural hospitals in the region.
  “I would look at that and say it was a pretty serious problem,” Governing Board Chairman Kory Johnson.

 

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