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What is hospital doing to reduce overhead? | Letters
Recently, the world-reknowned Cleveland Clinic reported it’s cutting operating expenses by 6 percent in 2014 because of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Cleveland Clinic spokeswoman Eileen Shiel said, “We know we’re going to get paid differently and reimbursed less to do more.”
The year 2014 will bring some income reduction to Whidbey General Hospital as well as every other hospital across the nation. Is this the time to spend $50 million, $90 million with interest, to construct 39 new private rooms while abandoning the current rooms for future clinical use?
A review of the WGH board minutes show the hospital has had an occupancy rate of 50-60 percent for years.
WGH already could be providing private rooms to nearly every patient at that rate.
What is WGH doing to reduce overhead and improve operating efficiency? The WGH board minutes for Aug. 12 reflect that as of June, patient revenues were under budget by 8 percent and expenses were over budget by 16 percent. So income is down and expenses are up. Those of us who live on Whidbey Island cannot operate our households spending more money than we make.
Letters from supporters of the bond imply that WGH will no longer exist if this bond doesn’t pass. That is not the case.
The bond did not pass in 2011 and WGH is still operating. Reading the guest column by Chief Nurse Linda Gipson, WGH is doing an outstanding job providing care in the current facility.
Yes, hospital rooms being built in new facilities must be private, but the use of existing double rooms is not prohibited. Many hospitals have double rooms and they do not close down the double rooms when they build new wings with single rooms.
Should the hospital be sold to a not-for-profit or a for-profit hospital system that could operate more efficiency because of its size? Should WGH merge or affiliate with an existing hospital system? Has WGH pursued such options? Have other hospital systems made offers to purchase or affiliate with WGH?
Should WGH be reorganized to primarily provide emergency care and outpatient surgeries with patients referred to larger hospital systems for extended in-patient care?
As a resident, I have more questions than answers and do not support the bond.