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Hospiotal ends year in financial hole

HUERFANO- The Huerfano County Hospital Board met on Monday and reviewed the years financials.  Overall, the hospital went into the hole $450,250 (year to date), which is better than last year, when the hospital was $702,000 in the red.  The overall patient volume was up 58% from last year, but it was mainly in “swing beds” (rehab and therapy) and not in acute care.  Operating expenses for the year were also higher, with higher wages,  larger food costs, more expensive pharmacy drugs and high-end equipment purchased over the year.

    One bright financial spot is the hosptial will be able to apply for a retroactive reimbursement of Medicaid funds at the Federal level, which could be a much as $650,000.  This is not guaranteed, Hospital Administrator Todd Oberheu stressed,  but looked very likely.

    But then, on the downside, it was announced there would be a one percent reduction in Medicaid reimbursement. “And there is no negotiation with Medicaid,” Oberheu said.

    The board will be requesting a mill levy for 2010 of 2.908 mills on an assessed valuation of $132,347,208, which will bring in $384,916 in funding.

    The Veteran’s center is performing better than projected, according to Administrator Gary Dickey.  The current census is 102 residents, with another person expected to move in soon.  The plans for expanding the Alzheimer’s Unit is going well, but contruction plans have not yet been finalized.

    There was discussion about moving the entire facility (minus the Nursing Home residents) to being smoke free.  It was stated it was part of how the hospital and staff wanted to be percived by the community.

    Finally, the Board has two seats up for election in 2010, and the other three seats can decide whether they want to run for a two year or a four year term.

    Oberheu reported to the Board that the hosptial receieved a $141,656 grant from the Colorado Health Organization, focusing on the Family Clinic.  The hospital also receieved a second grant for $8,571 from the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program, which will be used to alloow physicans to have remote access to electronic files from other participating facilites.

    Sherry Gomez and Sandy Dolak pulled in  a grant  of $2,758 to purchase CPR equipment.

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