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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of Nov 27 - Dec 3, 2002


Hospitalís financial situation improves

Express Staff Writer

Preliminary financial figures show St. Lukeís Wood River Medical Center to have almost reached the break-even point in its day-to-day operations. However, the hospitalís ledger remains $2.6 million in the red when depreciation is taken into account.

The situation is an improvement over last year, when the hospital was operating on a negative 3.5 percent cash-flow basis. CEO Bruce Jensen said the trend gives him hope for complete financial independence within three years.

"We cover our day-to-day expenses, but for any investment in buildings and technology, we have to rely on other sources, i.e. St. Lukeís in Boise and the local community," he said. "Our goal is to be a self-sufficient organization."

The hospitalís fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30. Jensen said pre-audit figures show operating expenses for fiscal 2002 to have been $20,174,000, while revenues were $19,926,000. An audit is scheduled to be completed by February or March.

Jensen said that since it opened in November 2000, St. Lukeís Wood River Medical Center has worked to reduce expenses and raise revenues through providing more services. He said the hospital brought in almost $20 million in revenue last year. During the hospitalís first year in existence, revenues were $14.6 million, though that was only a 10-month fiscal year.

Jensen said patients are able to obtain more services here that they previously could get only by traveling to Twin Falls or Boise. As examples, he pointed to the recently installed magnetic resonance imaging machine and sleep lab. The $1.6 million MRI machine was funded by private donations, while St. Lukeís in Boise paid $500,000 to build the specialized rooms needed to house it.

Jensen said the hospital has also added a new orthopedic surgeon and back surgeon, and will soon upgrade its urology equipment and physical therapy and rehabilitation services. He said it recently negotiated a better contract for medical insurance reimbursement from Blue Shield of Idaho.

Jensen said expenses have been reduced through better inventory controls and by recruiting more local nurses and technicians, rather than paying for traveling ones.



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