Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 23, 2014

Health center budget increases room rates

By VICKI TILLIS | May 21, 2013

The Jefferson County Health Center budgeted a fiscal year 2014 Operating and Capital Budgets with a net income of $1,218,449.

The health center’s chief financial officer Gene Irwin explained to the board of trustees Monday evening the budget was figured using a 3.5 percent salary increase. Irwin said that doesn’t mean every employee at the health center is getting a 3.5 percent wage increase; it means the total amount to be paid in wages was increased by 3.5 percent.

The only increase in the FY 2014 Operating and Capital Budgets is a 3 percent room rate. Acute room rates will go up $30 a day to $975. Swing room rates will go up $15 a day to $565.

“We do room rates because a lot of costs flow through there,” Irwin said.

This is the fifth consecutive year the board has approved a budget with only an increase in room rates, pointed out Irwin, and the trustees agreed it was “impressive.”

Irwin said the three “biggies” in capital equipment include $531,470 for information technology, including $254,500 for interface and stand-alone software.

“Every piece of equipment you buy any more needs an interface,” said Irwin.

Interface software allows files to be entered seamlessly into a patient’s electronic medical records without any manual intervention by a person, he explained, adding the software is expected to reduce the amount of time health center employees would spend scanning information for the files by 20 percent.

The IT budget also includes $96,000 to replace 40 computers and $92,800 to replace and/or add 29 laptops.

“Now is the time to keep current on our laptops and PCs,” said Irwin. “We have 200, and we use every one of them.”

Another “biggie” in capital equipment is the $118,000 budgeted for replacements and additions in the operating room department, including the addition of a Zimmer Air Dermatome II, with accessories. Currently, the health center does not have its own dermatome and borrows the high-use item, which is used for wound-closure cases.

The third “biggie” in capital equipment is the $109,000 in the ambulatory care department, including replacing the colonscope for $40,000.

Irwin said the colonscope is at the end of its life expectancy; the equipment only lasts about three years and was costing monies in repairs.

“We went over this [2014 operating and capital budgets] multiple times and scrutinized it pretty closely,” Irwin told the trustees. He said the 2 percent Medicare reduction is built into the budget.

He said the projected operating budget would allow the health center to meet the covenants in both its loan agreement and its cash-on-hand for 70 days.

Comparing the projected 2014 operating and capital budgets net income of $1,218,449 to operating and capital budgets of past years, the health center had a net income of $2,252,808 in 2012 and $3,453,043 in an annualized 2013.

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