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UIHC revenue increased $75 million from last fiscal year

BY LUKE VOELZ | JUNE 09, 2011 7:20 AM

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University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics profits increased over the last fiscal year, officials said on Wednesday at a state Board of Regents’ meeting.

UIHC Chief Financial Officer Ken Fisher said revenue for fiscal 2011 was $814 million, an increase of $75 million over the previous year. This places the UIHC with a $13 million surplus over budgeted expenses.

“When you are able to manage operating expenses as we are, running under budget for the first 10 months, it creates an almost $23 million variance in the bottom line, all of which runs to our organization,” Fisher said.

The hospital’s operating margin through April 2011 increased 6.1 percent, almost twice what officials budgeted for ending the fiscal year.

Patient revenue increased by approximately $3 million overall. Hospital officials said a majority of the revenue growth came from an increase in the number of patients admitted to the hospital from the emergency department, which is the highest-cost part of hospital operations.

“[Emergency departments] bring in patients who are in crisis points in their lives,” said Fisher. “These are not elective, but patients who have numerous issues that need to be dealt with.”

However, some hospital employees described programs trying to decrease the amount of revenue received at Wednesday’s meeting.

UI neonatology Professor Jeff Murray said many medical institutions have begun offering genetic tests, which hospital staff use to map a patient’s likelihood of resistance or susceptibility to drugs and diseases, alongside likely ancestry and genetic traits.

These tests cost anywhere from $100 to $1,000. Murray said hospitals would ideally begin offering them free of charge, in order to allow patients with low income to access potentially life-saving information.

“I hope, in the future, personal testing will be incorporated into the health-care system … instead of done commercially,” he said.

The UIHC will also see a new branch in the form of an ambulatory clinic in Coralville, which officials estimate will cost $72 million.

Hospital revenue numbers could also be felt throughout Johnson County last year, with UIHC regnerating nearly $700 million to the area via employment and retail, according to the Iowa Hospital Association’s annual study released in March.

UIHC CEO Ken Kates said the hospital had seen an increase in patient recommendations, which he attributed to the hospital’s service.

“There’s a number of senior faculty, nurses, and administrative staff working very hard to make sure each patient has an excellent experience,” Kates said.


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