News

OMC board approves ‘financial stability plan’

Sequim Gazette staff

Three months after passing the 2012 budget, the Olympic Medical Center board has approved major changes to the budget to meet what members now regard as near-certain cuts in state and federal funding.

 

During its Wednesday, Feb. 15, meeting the board adopted a new “financial stability plan” that will put into place “seven major strategies to decrease and control costs while also increasing revenue.”

 

CEO Eric Lewis said his organization “faces significant and unprecedented financial challenges in 2012 and beyond, including reduced reimbursement from government payers, increased uncompensated care costs and higher cost of operations. The financial stability plan is necessary to keep OMC financially stable and to position our organization to survive in the current health care environment.”

 

OMC derives more than 70 percent of its revenues from government payments — Medicare and Medicaid, primarily. Both are likely to be reduced significantly in coming months.

 

When he first proposed the plan to the board during the board’s Feb. 1 meeting, Lewis said the plan doesn’t reflect “a worst-case scenario” and that it’s possible even deeper cuts may be called for.

Seeking stability

The adopted plan calls for postponing the emergency department expansion at Olympic Memorial Hospital by one year, reducing the 2012 capital budget by $4.5 million.

 

Officials noted that while the cost-cutting measures include adjusting employee medical and retirement benefits to the level offered by most area hospitals, the plan doesn’t call for layoffs or outsourcing.

 

The plan does call for expanding local services, which may include opening a new urgent care clinic in Sequim. OMC officials hope that by expanding local services revenues can be pumped up by as much as $1 million this year.

 

The plan also calls for expanding services in neurology, cardiology, sleep medicine, orthopedics, cancer care and primary care.

 

OMC officials also are hoping their continuing legislative advocacy efforts will bear fruit.

 

An executive summary of the Financial Stability Plan is available at www.OlympicMedical.org.

 

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