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Clarke County Hospital Board of Trustees approves fiscal year 2019 budget

The Clarke County Hospital Board of Trustees have approved the Hospital’s Fiscal Year 2019 operating budget as well as the county tax asking at the Feb. 27 Hospital Board Meeting.

With the expansion of Medicaid, Clarke County Hospital has seen an increase in the number of individuals with Medicaid insurance needing services. This coverage is critical and very beneficial for those people in need of care, but ultimately, does come at a cost for our organization and community. Iowa Medicaid has traditionally limited payments to qualifying rural hospitals and allowed a percentage of charges for the costs of the services. With the implementation of Medicaid Managed Care organizations (MCO’s), further reductions have also taken place. This includes the MCO’s only making half the contracted payment for Emergency Room (ER) services considered non-emergent. This effectively reduces payment to half of the Hospital’s costs which ultimately affects Clarke County Hospital’s budget and operating margin. At the same time, the hospital meets its obligation in caring for ER patients regardless of their ability to pay. The net result is that the costs of these services are shifted to caregivers and, ultimately, the local tax payer.

The Hospital tax asking for the Fiscal Year 2019 budget is increasing $179,381 over the prior year. Despite the current year increase, the Hospital’s tax asking for Fiscal Year 2019 is lower than the amount presented in 2007 as the Hospital had previously lowered the tax asking for 11 consecutive years.

Clarke County Hospital continues to project positive growth as its Board of Trustees and employees continue to build on its successes of the past. Offering services and specialties like General Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Cardiology, Nephrology, Hepatology, Pulmonology, Podiatry, Oncology, Cardiovascular, and Allergy. Since completing its expansion in 2016, Clarke County Hospital has expanded specialty services including ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) Orthopedics, Urology, Dermatology, and Pain Management. Additionally, the hospital is also pleased to offer a new weekend walk-in clinic for non-emergent care.

For fiscal year 2019, the annual budgeted gross patient service revenue is $29,982,591, an increase of 8.5 percent from the prior year budget. Clarke County Hospital’s growing services provides healthcare services locally in the community and adds revenue to assist with the financial challenges faced by healthcare in a rural community. Deductions from revenue are the difference between Hospital charges and what is actually paid by insurances. Deductions are budgeted to increase $1,370,378 over the prior year budget, with over $1 million dollars or 78% of the increase in deductions attributed to Medicaid.

The annual budgeted operating expenses are $22,679,302 or an increase of 3.4 percent from the prior year budget. The budgeted net income for FY2019 is 1.4% of gross revenue. Net income is reinvested into equipment that will continue to serve our patients in years to come.

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