Northern Inyo Hospital District fiscal update

NIHD press press release

Speaking before the Bishop City Council last Monday week, Northern Inyo Healthcare District CEO, Kevin S. Flanigan, MD MBA, detailed patient volume trends for the first six months of the district’s fiscal year. He also went over the district’s fiscal positions, including steps being taken to better manage the hospital’s long-term debt.

NIH Sign

Dr. Flanigan confirmed the district is refinancing its General Obligation Bonds issued for the construction of the new hospital. The move not only shortens the life of the bonds, it also results in a close to $3 million savings for county taxpayers.

“For the community as a whole, there is a big savings and it makes sense to do this,” he said. “For the district, it makes our long-term debt manageable and more stable, and not based on sporadic or rising payments. The taxpayers will gain more in this move than the district, but it’s a needed moved that will help the district shore up its long-term fiscal position.”

As for patients, NIHD is seeing an upward trend in volume but a decrease in case complexity. “We’ve admitted 10 percent more patients than last year, but as a whole we’re seeing significantly shorter hospital stays,” Dr. Flanigan said. “This implies that outpatient services are doing a much better job of managing our patients’ chronic illnesses, and that is having the intended consequence of shorter stays.”

Shorter stays do mean a drop in revenue for NIHD. For the first six months of the fiscal year, NIHD had a loss of $129,000.

The change also affected NIHD’s projected budget as does a late government payment that was scheduled to arrive in December. Instead it arrived a few weeks ago. Dr. Flanigan said had it arrived on time, the district would not have had a net loss on its books.

To offset the decrease in revenue, Dr. Flanigan has asked management teams to review their departmental budget for potential savings. “Our department managers have responded

amazingly well and demonstrated a team approach to making these adjustments,” he said.

Dr. Flanigan said more timely government payments and judicious financial decision-making should have a positive impact on NIHD’s next six months.

NIHD’s department managers are currently working on their budgets for the next fiscal year. It’s anticipated that the NIHD Board of Directors will have a draft to review in May.

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About Northern Inyo Healthcare District: Founded in 1946, Northern Inyo Healthcare District features a 25-bed critical access hospital, a 24-hour emergency department, a primary care rural health clinic, a diagnostic imaging center, and clinics specializing in women’s health, orthopedics and neurology, pediatrics and allergies and general surgery. Continually striving to improve the health outcomes of those who rely on its services, Northern Inyo Healthcare District aims to improve our communities one life at a time. One team, one goal, your health.

 

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