Samaritan continues to show profit through April

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MOSES LAKE — A busier Samaritan Hospital and Samaritan Clinic meant more revenue for April 2018, but it also meant more expenses. Still, the hospital is turning a profit through the end of April.

Chief financial officer Alex Town said net income for April was $83,983, which was below the budget target for the month. Samaritan did end April with a small loss in operating income, $13,746. For the year the hospital’s net income is $1,063,909, ahead of the budget target, which anticipated a loss through the first four months.

Town presented the budget update at the regular hospital commission meeting Tuesday. He said the hospital is experiencing increases in general and orthopedic surgeries, obstetrics patients and people who need treatment that keeps them in the hospital overnight or longer. Samaritan Clinic has more doctors, physician assistants and nurse practitioners, and as a result clinic revenue is running about 11 percent ahead of the budget target for the year.

Increased business, however, brings with it increased expenses, and expenses for April were about $7 million, which was over the budget target. Town said the higher expenses included more money for doctors and nurses hired as temporary staff. Staffing the hospital’s nursing department is having the biggest impact on expenses, Town said.

“So far we have hired 13 nurses in the last few months,” said director of nursing Becky DeMers. There are still positions open, but nurses already on staff are transferring to some of those open positions, DeMers said, and when all those transfers are completed she expected to have about four positions to fill. “We hope to be fully staffed by about October.” In addition, hospital officials are working to get more nurses trained in more than one area of specialty, DeMers said.

Samaritan has had some nurses on maternity leave, she said. which has contributed to the number of temporary nurses the hospital has been required to hire.

The hospital has provided $1,607,246 in “uncompensated care,” Town said, which means bad debt and charity care.

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

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