Hospital sees increase in outpatient services

Inpatient services sharply decline

Staff reporter

At the annual meeting of Marion County Hospital District #1, administrator Jeremy Armstrong reported that 2007 was a year of ups and downs.

Outpatient revenue increased 11 percent but inpatient revenue had a 52 percent decrease which resulted in a $1 million revenue decrease.

Chief financial officer Hilary Dolbee reported a loss of $500,000 in revenue but with the allotment from the taxing district and the foundation, the hospital district ended the year with nearly a $300,000 net income.

The income, Dolbee said, was used to pay for pay increases, new equipment, and upkeep of the facilities.

"The hospital is becoming more solvent," Dolbee said, with a $3,000-$4,000 increase from 2006 to 2007.

In comparison to 2006, there were 173 hospital admissions in 2007 and 274 in 2006. Emergency room visits decreased from 1,034 in 2007 and 1,044 in 2006, as did surgical procedures, and home care visits.

There were 100 employees in 2006 and 104 in 2007 with a payroll in 2007 of $2,864,311, not counting physicians.

Executive summary

An executive summary was presented by Armstrong regarding the hospital's status and potential for growth.

Following are highlights of the 2007 fiscal year:

— Three new providers were recruited — Karen Wheeler, ARNP, Marion Family Physicians, and Linda Skiles, M.D. and Nita Bittle, P.A., were the first providers at the newly-formed St. Luke Physician Clinic.

— Physical therapy revenues increased four percent, radiology 11.5 percent, marking a 11 percent overall increase in outpatient revenues to the tune of $5,200,856.

— St. Luke Living Center remained fully occupied during 2007. The state average is 85.3 percent.

— Marion County Home Care net revenues decreased by 5.2 percent or $351,121. This decrease is a continuation of last year's decline and due primarily to a 19 percent decrease in patient visits.

— There were 157 surgeries/procedures in 2007 which included gall bladder removal, appendix removal, eye surgery, and colonoscopies.

Financial stability

— St. Luke Foundation received $67,379 in contributions. Of those, $5,099 was received from memorials.

— Hospital increased charges and the living center room rates.

— St. Luke Hospital Auxiliary donated $48,798 toward the purchase of a van for the living center, a van maintenance fund, chairs for the living center, TV and cabinet, dishes for dietary department, and coagulation analyzer for the lab.

— The Dinky Duck fund-raiser, in conjunction with Marion's Chingawassa Days, raised $5,200 which was used toward the purchase of an EKG machine.

Customer service

— Physical therapy department expanded hours of operations to include earlier morning and later evening appointments.

— The hospital's laboratory now is open at 7:30 a.m. to better accommodate patients. The lab also is able to perform in-house urine drug testing for possible drug overdoses, direct LDL cholesterol testing, and a way to analyze kidney function.


— Facility offers employees a 50 percent match of 401k contributions.

— All members of the hospital nursing staff have completed training and are certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support. Seven nurses are certified in Trauma Nurse Core Course.

— Urologist Dr. John Kosko provided outreach urology services.

— The hospital and auxiliary awarded three $500 scholarships to students who are pursing careers in health-care.


— The building at 504 S. Roosevelt was renovated to be used as the St. Luke Physician Clinic.

— Electronic medical record software was purchased for the hospital's clinic as was a barrier-free examination table for those patients with limited mobility.

— Miraluma Nuclear medicine breast imaging now is offered. This test allows the possible detection of cancerous breast lesions previously identified as suspicious.

— The hospital purchased two bariatric chairs, a bariatric bed, lift chair, otoscope, ophthalmoscope, thermometers, blood pressure cuffs, and computers with grant funds provided by the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program.

— A new copier/printer/fax machine was purchased for the business office.

— A self-propelled floor scrubber also was purchased.