Stephens Co. Hospital Approves Budget

The Stephens County Hospital Authority approves a budget for the hospital for the upcoming fiscal year.

Monday, the Hospital Authority unanimously approved a budget for Fiscal Year 2013-2014, which starts for the hospital on October 1.

Stephens County Hospital Administrator Ed Gambrell said the budget totals just over $118 million and does not show much change from this current year in general.

“The budget that the Authority approved is very unexciting,” said Gambrell.  “As you know, we have been slow for a couple of years now, as are many hospitals across the country and so this budget forecasts virtually no volume increase next year, maybe a small increase, but just a small increase.”

Gambrell did note that starting on October 1 with the new fiscal year, the hospital will implement a 3.5 percent rate increase.

He said the hospital feels it is a necessary one.

“It is generally across the board, but in reality, some prices probably go up more than 3.5 percent and some probably do not go up any,” said Gambrell.  “It just depends on where we feel our expenses might have increased more or less, but the overall average will be 3.5 percent.”

While the overall patient volume is not expected to increase much, Gambrell said the upcoming budget does include two items that should help generate revenue.

“It does include Dr. Fordyce, who is the new orthopedic surgeon that started in January,” said Gambrell.  “It includes him in the budget for all 12 months, which will help us, and it includes the opening of the wound care center, which will open this Fall.  Those are good things.”

As for the wound care center, construction on the new facility on Falls Road is ongoing.

However, Gambrell said work on the building has been affected by the weather.

“The wound care construction building is going extremely well,” said Gambrell.  “If you drove by it (Monday), you would see a big swimming pool in the front parking lot where we had all the rain.  The earthwork is going slower than I want it to, but there is really nothing I can do about that.”

Gambrell said the exact open date for the wound care center will depend on the weather in the weeks ahead.