Back Print

Winneshiek Medical Center reports net loss of $2.7 million for FY 2018

Posted: Wed, Sep 5, 2018 5:17 PM

Preliminary financial results for the 2017-2108 fiscal year show Winneshiek Medical Center had a net loss of $2,747,954.

Hospital representatives say there was no one reason for the loss, but several.  For instance, a new electronic health records software system was installed in September of last year.  It is typical for health organizations to have lower revenues in the beginning stages of new technology, but Winneshiek Medical Center says other hospitals have learned it has taken 8-10 months to be back to operating at full speed with new software.  The learning curve takes up time and results in missed revenues.

Another major reason for the deficit was an increase in pharmaceutical costs of over $1 million from the previous fiscal year.  WMC staffers had budgeted for an increase, but costs rose even higher than anticipated.

Another cost was a required $919,897 contribution to the IPERS retirement plan.  The fund is maintained by governmental units in Iowa, which must make additional contributions if there are larger-than-expected withdrawals from the fund, as happened in the past fiscal year.

Last year the WMC Board of Trustees approved a budget calling for $61.8 million in net revenue, $60 million in expenses and an operating gain of $1.8 million.  Instead, preliminary figures show $60 million in net revenues, $62.75 million in operating expenses and a net loss of $2.75 million.

Hospital officials say several steps are being taken to improve the financial figures.  An additional doctor will be hired for the Decorah Clinic staff, to improve clinic and OB access for patients.  Inventory levels and processes will be reviewed to make sure they are efficient.  There will also be a review of overtime scheduling.  Finally, hospital staff will work on expediting payments from insurance companies by responding more quickly to any coverage denial notices.

A statement released by the medical center concluded, "We need to be strong, successful and financially secure so that we can continue to offer the communities we serve an improved health care delivery system that achieves higher quality at lower costs."