Sandra Brock, controller and human resources director, presented a budget proposal with an estimated total net revenue of $12,288,204 to the board.
She gave each board member a “cheat sheet” to help them see the differences between the 2013 and 2014 budgets.
“We did 195 for the census in 2013 and we have not reached that, I don’t think, throughout the year,” Brock said. “So we brought that down to 186.”
Brock’s announcement came on the heels of board vice chair Wendy Beck’s monthly census update. Beck said the center was averaging about 175 patients, which is considered lower than normal. She explained the census tends to be lower in the summer.
Brock said she thinks the census will increase again.
Part of the growth will come from an increase in referrals created through the center’s admissions staff member.
Dennis Burtnett, administrator, said 75 percent of the staff members’ time is spent managing the in-patient flow. The remaining time is used to establish communication between the center and area hospitals.
A suggestion was made by a board member to reinstate the marketing committee.
Burtnett said the center is looking to have the committee in action again soon.
Additional differences between the 2013 and 2014 budget included a change in Medicaid rate reimbursement. Brock said she changed the budgeted Medicaid intermediate care facility rate reimbursement from 2013’s $150 to 2014’s $156. She said she tried to keep the rates conservative to ward against any over budgeting.
The Medicare rate average was dropped from last year’s $400 to $375. In addition, Brock said the private ICF pay rates were raised $5 from last year’s budget to $160 and the private skill nursing facility services were raised from $170 to $180.
“Which really only affects the private pay people,” Brock said. “We are the lowest in the county, and have been for a long time.”
Salaries awarded this year also saw a change from last year. Brock said a 1 percent evaluation raise was budgeted versus a 3 percent evaluation raise.
She said she would keep an eye on the budget to see if an increase in raises could be considered next spring.
Board Chairman John Stanbery asked Brock if she felt morale had been affected by the change in raises.
“I think there was to start with, but I believe that has cooled off,” Brock said. “I think just the initial reaction was that, but I haven’t seen or heard anything since.”
According to Brock, department heads are consulted when she writes up each year’s budget. They discuss hours, equipment needs and projected costs.
Stanbery noted several items have been on the capital budget list for a couple years.
“The capital budget is more like a wish list,” Brock said. “The small equipment purchases are things we probably need. That is why it goes into the operating budget.”
Capital equipment requests are any purchases over $5,000. Brock said these will still come before the board before the final purchase.
The purchase of a new nurse call system was added into the final quarter of 2013’s budget. Brock predicted the 20- to 30-year-old system would be completely replaced within three years. Each additional purchase will take place in the yearly budget’s last quarter. Wing 3, recently converted to accommodate rehabilitation patients, will be the first to receive the new system.
The center recently underwent an inspection by the state. Inspectors’ arrival came five months after the 15-month window the center was told to expect them. Burtnett said the inspection’s reports have not been revealed, but he is expecting them within the next week.