WhidbeyHealth commisioners met in the hospital’s new conference room at Monday’s board meeting. (Photo by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News Group)

WhidbeyHealth commisioners met in the hospital’s new conference room at Monday’s board meeting. (Photo by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News Group)

Hits lead to drop in WhidbeyHealth Sept. revenue

WhidbeyHealth suffered an unplanned budget hit, making September “not such a good month,” Ron Telles, chief financial officer, said at a recent meeting.

Also, patient visits to clinics dipped and fewer-than-average surgeries took place, meaning not as much revenue coming in.

“There were times we’ve had no surgeries scheduled, but we still have to have (surgery) staff,” Telles told the board of commissioners that oversee Whidbey Island Public Hospital District, which includes the medical center and seven clinics.

Telles regularly reviews expenses and revenues and charts in-patient stays, surgeries, clinic visits and other data to share at monthly board meetings.

The health system’s cash on hand is down to $6.7 million from an average of $11 million for several reasons, he said, including $300,000 in unanticipated monthly costs to outsource pharmacy drugs needed for cancer patients.

“It’s just a lot more expensive to buy them than to make them ourselves,” Telles said. “We’re doing well controlling our costs. It’s the uncontrollable we have a difficult time with.”

After a piece of pharmacy equipment required for ventilation was deemed a code violation, the hospital began ordering the cancer drugs. A new ventilation system couldn’t fit into the pharmacy, located in the hospital’s older section, so a new pharmacy was built into the first floor of the new wing.

It just opened, along with a new conference space called the Robert and June Sebo Health Education Center.

WhidbeyHealth is also catching up to a new government requirement involving retired employees’ eligibility to purchase benefits through the Public Employee Benefit Board, PEBB.

“What this new standard did was to say that all organizations that are involved with the PEBB have to book a liability to their own books of record to reflect the estimated amount that will be paid, through the PEBB, for these liabilities,” said Jennifer Reed, WhidbeyHealth controller. “This is a non-cash recording that will never be paid by WhidbeyHealth.”

WhidbeyHealth CEO Geri Forbes explained that the hospital started making its own chemotherapy drugs as soon as the new pharmacy got up and running.

More in News

Public feedback on proposed Port of Coupeville tax levy remains positive

The port will continue taking public comments through Oct. 22.

Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times
“Island Spirit” is back home on Southeast Pioneer Way in Oak Harbor.
‘Island Spirit’ sculpture returns to Pioneer Way

The bronze statue had been missing since late 2019 when it was taken out in an accident.

Town of Coupeville to hold hearing on proposed utility rate hike on Sept. 28

Coupeville utility rates might be increasing soon, and the town council wants to hear your input.

Photo provided
This photo of bear tracks on the beach was captured near Randall Point in Clinton last week.
Tracks indicate bear may still be on island

The bear nicknamed “Whidbey the Pooh” appears to be sticking around longer than expected.

WhidbeyHealth Community Pharmacy opened in Coupeville on Sept. 21. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)
Hospital district opens new pharmacy in Coupeville

Coupeville hasn’t had a retail pharmacy in town since Linds Pharmacy closed more than six years ago.

Whidbey Island schools have seen only a few ‘devious licks’ copycats

A viral TikTok challenge has touched Whidbey, but the trend was short-lived.

Burn bans eased

A return to wet, cooler weather means campers and s’mores enthusiasts can spark up fires once again.

Shane Hoffmire, left, and Joel Servatius, right, are vying for a seat on Oak Harbor City Council. Hoffmire received Mayor Bob Severns’ first public endorsement of his political career over Servaitus, the incumbent.
Oak Harbor mayor endorses newcomer over incumbent

Bob Severns endorsed Shane Hoffmire, who is challenging Councilmember Joel Servatius in November.

A copy of City Attorney Grant Weed’s notice of his intent to terminate his contract with the city of Oak Harbor early. Weed and Assistant City Attorney and Public Records Officer Anna Thompson told the mayor the same day of their plans to stop working with the Oak Harbor.
Oak Harbor legal staff leaving, citing ‘compromised’ working relationships

The two key people in Oak Harbor’s legal department resigned from their positions on the same day.

Most Read