NOCHS reports 2nd-straight year of positive finances

It may not be a lot of digits on the plus side, but two positive fiscal years has North Ottawa Community Health System officials encouraged about the future.
Mark Brooky
Feb 29, 2012

 

NOCHS CEO/President Shelleye Yaklin reported Monday a $122,000 “profit” for the Grand Haven-based health care system’s 2011 fiscal year, which ended last June 30.

The report came at the health system’s annual public meeting held at North Ottawa Community Hospital. It followed last year’s report of a $100,000 gain, after losses of $2.1 million in fiscal year 2009 and a staggering nearly $5 million in each of the previous two fiscal years.

Yaklin said NOCHS will never see a huge amount of dollars on the plus side as operating margins “will always be slim.” She said their plan is to reinvest any gains.

“Our goal is sustainability and to be sure that we’re here listening to our community, providing them what they need at a cost that they can afford,” Yaklin explained, “because health care today is not affordable in its present state.”

Yaklin kicked off her presentation by running down some of the obstacles NOCHS will likely continue to face in staying out of the loss column. One of the biggest factors is the continued cuts in Medicare reimbursements, which is estimated at 2 percent next year for all providers.

“It’s the down side of health care reform,” she said.

NOCHS’ largest affiliate, the Grand Haven hospital, ended the last fiscal year with a $600,000 operations gain — up from a $64,000 gain in fiscal year 2010. However, 65 percent of the system’s bad debt — besides Medicare and Medicaid losses, mainly patients that don’t pay their bills — can be attributed to misuse and overuse of the hospital’s emergency department.

What NOCHS officials are calling “financial stability” will help them work their strategy for future growth, Yaklin said.

“For us, it will always continue to be a diligence to expense control and making prudent decisions,” the CEO said. “But this past year has been, for the first time, focusing on growing.”

The hospital's total revenue for fiscal year 2011 was $59.2 million, up from just under $57.9 million in 2010; and its expenses totaled $58.6 million, up from about $57.8 million in 2010.

The entire health system's total revenue for fiscal year 2011 was $70.7 million, up about $700,000 from fiscal year 2010; and its expenses totaled $70.6 million, up from $69.9 million in 2010.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

 

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