recorded at $1.5 million
Express Staff Writer
Moses, CEO of St. Lukeís Wood River Medical Center, spoke at an opening
celebration for the new hospital south of Ketchum a year ago, he warned
that "hospital survival is not a given."
hospital celebrated its first anniversary Nov. 19, a date that marked one
year of survival.
It was a
year of reassuring successes and disconcerting financial realities.
at any hospital, new needs and new challenges constantly arise, Moses said
while reflecting last week on the hospitalís first year. But "I
think the future of this hospital is very bright."
One of the
most important challenges will be reducing the hospitalís financial
losses of $1.5 million. Hospital planners had expected the facility to
break even on its $22 million budget during the first year.
the challenge of determining which new services to offeróservices that
must be needed by the community and must help the hospital stay
are the unexpected challenges, like retaining staff in this expensive
mountain resort area, a problem that has the hospital considering ways to
promote affordable housing.
hospital focuses heavily on diagnostics. Planners hope to have a new MRI
unit installed by May. The hospital recently began providing vascular
diagnostics, and is considering offering neuro-diagnostics, too.
diagnose a lot of conditions that we donít treat here," Moses said,
but offering more diagnostic services is not a strategy for improving
we want to do is advance out diagnostics and treatment capabilities as far
as we can, but we donít want to go so far that we canít do them
well," he said.
challenge is determining which services work here and which donít.
Orthopedics, for example, is the hospitalís bread and butter, Moses
said, because "people here play hard."
hospital may get another financial boost from a new adjacent office
building, for which bulldozers were breaking ground last week. The
building is expected to generate substantial revenue for St. Lukeís.
he expects hospital revenues to exceed losses by about $900,000 this year.
financial challenge that Moses described was like a self-fulfilling
prophecy: better revenues would allow the hospital to improve services,
making it more likely to attract patients and earn more revenue.
skilled staff in the Wood River Valley has been "frightening,"
Moses said, due to the high cost of living here. Moses recognizes that the
hospital will have to spend extra to keep employees here, either through
subsidies, help with buying a home or by actually building residences.
that last yearís financial shortfall was serious, but not as dire as it
might appear because the hospital is debt-free and can rely on the
stability of the larger St. Lukeís hospital network.
wanted to clear up another misconception.
are a lot of people who think that we built this beautiful hospital, that
it must be highly profitable, and some of it goes back to Boise," he
said, but thatís not true. "All the money stays here."
even though the hospital has been open for only a year, it feels like much
longer than that.
party planned for Dec. 8 would be "much more than a holiday
celebration," he said.