At one time, it was important for every hospital to keep its hospital beds filled with patients. But there has been a sea change in the health industry, especially when it comes to reimbursements by medical insurance companies and by Medicare and Medicaid, and now outpatient services account for the majority of revenue at almost every hospital.
At Winneshiek Medical Center, such outpatient services include the emergency room and urgent care, home health programs, laboratory tests, mammograms, MRI exams, radiology, rehab and respiratory care. 81 percent of Winneshiek Medical Center's revenues come from these services.
Of the people using the hosp[ital's outpatient services in 2005-2006, a little over half had Mayo physicians, while 28 percent had Gundersen physicians. That was the year the hospital signed contracts with Mayo Health Systems to provide management services and to provide physicians to work at the clinic, which the hospital had just purchased from Mayo.
Three years later patients with Mayo physicians accounted for 82 percent of the referrals, while patients with Gundersen physicians accounted for 8 percent.
(Note: This updated story clarifies that the percentages represented in the graphs are based on patient counts, not patient referrals)