OMC sets sights on 4 percent yield in '10

Olympic Medical Center hopes to post a 4.4-percent net operating margin for 2009 and come close to repeating that performance in 2010, hospital commissioners learned last week.

Such a margin - the "profit" for a nonprofit institution like OMC - will allow it to pay off its $14 million of debt by 2012 and enlarge its emergency room in 2013.

The commissioners, four of the incumbent six re-elected without opposition, met Wednesday, Nov. 4, in OMC's flagship hospital at 939 Caroline St., Port Angeles.

They will be joined by newly elected commissioner Dr. John Miles after his victory over opponent Phil Edin is certified on Nov. 24.

Too ambitious?

Commissioners were told that achieving freedom from debt while spending $7 million to $9 million to enlarge the emergency room could be tricky.

OMC might have to carry its debt for a few more years, administrator Eric Lewis said.

Meanwhile, the medical center anticipates a 1-percent growth in inpatients during 2010 and a 3-percent uptick in outpatients.

Traffic at OMC clinics, however, will remain at 2009 levels.

The inpatient and outpatient growth plus slight increases in Medicare reimbursement will drive a budget that projects $233 million in gross revenue and more than $134 million in net revenue, said Julie Rukstad, OMC chief financial officer.

Expenses rise

5 percent

Expenses, including wage boosts of 3 percent to nearly $57 million and total expense growth of almost 5 percent, will cut into revenues by nearly $130 million, she said.

That will leave a net revenue remainder of nearly $5.4 million, according to Rukstad.

The budget numbers came during a presentation that also included updates on OMC's strategic plan.

That three-year strategy focuses on top goals that

comprise eliminating hospital infections among patients, making the most of patients' waiting times, recruiting new general and orthopedic surgeons and installing electronic medical records.

Lewis said OMC also will endeavor to increase efficiency and cut costs, especially in the face of patients' bad debts and charity care that is expected to exceed $3.2 million in 2010.

Reach Jim Casey at

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