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New Unit Pushes Positive Budget

December 23, 2016

 It’s been more than a half-decade since the last time South Central Kansas Medical Center ended the year in the black. The hospital was last profitable 2010, the final year prior to moving to the new facility. However, according to hospital officials the medical center plans to see a positive bottom line for 2017.

Arkansas City, KS –  It’s been more than a half-decade since the last time South Central Kansas Medical Center ended the year in the black. The hospital was last profitable 2010, the final year prior to moving to the new facility. However, according to hospital officials the medical center plans to see a positive bottom line for 2017.

     Chief Financial Officer Holly Harper presented the positive message during the December Board of Trustees meeting.

     “I’m showing a $2 million bottom line (for the 2017 budget). Sales tax revenue is expected to be quite high this year, as this is one of the years where we have the overlap of the one-percent while the one-half percent is still going. We use those for the bond payment, we don’t actually use those for operations but it is still counted on our income statement.  If you back that off we are at a loss, but a very small loss compared to what we have done,” Harper said.

     Harper is projecting SCKMC to end 2017 at an operations loss of $290,683 plus projected sales tax revenue of $2,308,500, leaving a positive bottom line of $2,017,817. In addition to the sales tax funds, operational revenue is anticipated to increase in 2017, closing the gap from previous years and inching the facility closer to break even. The majority of the increase is related to the addition of a geriatric psychology unit. The unit is on schedule to open this January.

     “If everything goes as planned January 1, 2017 we will be in the geri-psych business and have a senior healthcare unit to start producing a new source of revenue for this hospital.

I think it was one of the things that will be vital to stabilizing our financial situation here at the hospital,” said Virgil Watson, SCKMC’s CEO.

     The new unit will include 12 patient beds with management and staffing to be outsourced to Quality Health Care Inc. (QHC), a Wichita based, privately owned company. The unit is located in the former location of the family birthing center. OB services have been relocated within the hospital to an underutilized portion of the facility.

     On average it takes roughly 90 days for a senior health unit to reach what is considered standard capacity of 90% however QHCrepresentatives believe that the ramp period could be significantly reduced as a result of already having a unit already established in Wellington. Harper has used a more conservative 70% utilization rate for the budget, which still contributes significantly to the planned $4.5 million increase in gross patient revenue for 2017.

     “I have already had a referral source call me asking when we are opening our doors because they have patients ready,” Harper said.