Samaritan Healthcare has profitable September

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MOSES LAKE — Samaritan Healthcare turned a healthy profit in September.

“We had a really good month,” said chief financial officer Alex Town, reporting the month’s results to hospital commissioners at the regular meeting Oct. 30. For September the hospital and Samaritan Clinic had a net income of $785,376. Net income is $4,285,187 for the year through the end of September.

Town said surgical admissions have been higher than budgeted all year – until September. More patients were admitted in September, which helped increase inpatient revenue. Outpatient revenue was below the budget projection for September, due to fewer surgeries, Town said. But outpatient revenue is still over the budget projection for the year.

Samaritan Clinic revenue was 2.6 percent below the budget projection for September. But the clinic is running well ahead of the budget projection for patient visits. Through the end of September the clinic had 38,814 patient visits, as compared to 32,648 in the same period in 2017. The increase is due to more doctors, physician assistants and nurse practitioners at the clinic, Town said. The clinic has 23 medical professionals as of the end of September, compared to 19 at the same time last year. “All the new providers that came last year, they’re really getting busy,” Town said.

“If operating revenue is up, expenses will follow in proportion,” Town said. For the year to date expenses are $62,925,000, about 2.7 percent above the budget projection. Much of that cost is driven by the need to hire nurses and doctors on a temporary basis, but Town said those expenses are decreasing. “You are starting to see a decrease in temporary manpower.” Hospital officials have hired a number of nurses to meet the needs, and most of them have finished the hospital’s orientation, Town said.

More business also means more bad debt and charity care expenses. For the year through the end of September, the hospital had provided $5,421,614 in bad debt and charity care. Town said uncompensated care could exceed $7 million by the end of the year.

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

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