Why such a challenging financial year?

Released: 11/05/18

By Lisa Radtke, Chief Administrative Officer

Winneshiek Medical Center had a challenging financial year in fiscal year 2018 (July 2017-June 2018).  Our $2.7 million loss has been reported throughout local media, and many citizens are questioning the reason behind loss.  There is no one reason we experienced a low year:

Technology Changes
WMC converted to a new electronic health record (EHR) in September 2017. An EHR conversion is a major change in daily workflow for a health care entity and we continue to seek efficiencies to recover back to patient volumes we saw prior to the conversion.  It is typical for an organization to see downward trends at the beginning stages of a new EHR. Additionally, we incurred support costs of two electronic health record systems during the transition.

Reimbursement Changes/Challenges
WMC had to write off approximately $70,000 in claims following the state’s transition to the Medicaid Managed Care Organizations.

Pharmaceutical Costs
WMC experienced an increase in pharmaceutical costs of over one million dollars from fiscal year 2017. We budgeted for an increase, but could not anticipate such a dramatic increase in pharmaceutical costs because of natural disasters impacting pharmaceutical production/plants.

Employee Health Insurance
Fiscal year 2018 was a higher claim year for our self-insured employee health insurance program.

IPERS (Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System)
As a governmental employer, Winneshiek Medical Center is required to record our share of the change in net pension liability of IPERS.  For fiscal year 2018, Winneshiek Medical Center’s Operating Loss increased approximately $920,000 due to recording this cost.


Financial Recovery

Going forward, a number of activities are in progress to positively impact financial outcomes by increasing capacity, generating new revenues, reducing expenses and improving processes. We have seen positive outcomes from these activities.

Administration, staff and providers at Winneshiek Medical Center are committed to the success of this medical center and are working together to improve the financial picture in the new fiscal year.

For over one hundred years, Winneshiek Medical Center has been a lifelong community partner improving the health and well-being of those we serve.  Our direction is to be here as a lifelong community partner for another one hundred years.

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