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April 25, 2013

Good case management keeps hospital on budget

NORMAN — March was another tough month for the Norman Regional Health System, with outpatient volumes breaking lower than budget predictions, but NRHS continues to invest in equipment and technology to provide quality health care. Upgrades for EMSStat and the Cancer Treatment Department will result from capital investments made this month.

Hospital outpatient visits in March increased 10.3 percent from February but were 6.4 percent below the March budget target, NRHS Chief Financial Officer Ken Hopkins reported Monday at the Norman Regional Hospital Authority board meeting.

Lower outpatient volumes, which have been showing a strong growth pattern in recent years, contributed to the decline in operating performance from February, but improved case management and good expense controls resulted in the operating margin almost hitting budget level,” Hopkins said.

Net Income from Operations for March was $544,000, which was $135,000 under budget.

Non-operating income was above expectations because of a strong investment performance, resulting in overall net income for the month of $1.9 million — $863,000 in excess of budget predictions.

Year-to-date hospital outpatient visits were 3.9 percent below budget and 0.7 percent below the same nine-month period last year.

The board approved $3.3 million in capital equipment expenditures investing in ambulance refurbishment for EMSStat $80,000, a stryker stretcher/loading system for EMSStat at $350,000 and a replacement linear accelerator for cancer management at a cost of $2,870,328.

The Cancer Management Department staff reported that a 2009 inventor of equipment revealed the need for a linear accelerator replacement.

“Over the past several years, it was becoming more apparent that we were no longer competitive from a technology standpoint,” according to staff reports. “We were not able to offer some treatment techniques and, in some cases, treatment options that were available at other centers.”

The new state-of-the-art equipment will allow the Cancer Management team to provide high-quality options for referring physicians and their patients.

Joy Hampton

366-3539

jhampton@

normantranscript.com

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