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Summit Health in good financial health

Franklin County hospital group's revenues up by 10.2 percent

Franklin County hospital group's revenues up by 10.2 percent

November 28, 2007|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Led by an increase in patient revenues at both Chambersburg and Waynesboro hospitals, Summit Health remained financially healthy, with revenues hitting $310.4 million in 2006-07, up from $281.7 million the previous year, according to its annual report issued Tuesday.

While revenues increased 10.2 percent, operating expenses for the nonprofit were up 7.7 percent for a total of $293.2 million, the report stated. Most of the increase was in wages and salaries, which were up $10.9 million to $163.7 million.

The operating surplus from this year will be used to fund capital improvements and recruit and retain medical and nursing staff, the report stated.

Free and subsidized health care came to $25.6 million, either from those without health care who received services, or whose health insurance did not cover actual expenses, Summit Health President Norman P. Epstein said.

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Summit Health expanded outreach efforts to get eligible people enrolled in medical assistance programs, said Kim Rzomp, the assistant vice president for corporate finance.

"It doesn't cover the cost of what we offer for care," Rzomp said of medical assistance payments. The outreach to those who receive free care also was expanded, she said.

"We give the care first and think about the dollars later," Epstein said.

Much of the free care is through the emergency and psychiatric departments, Rzomp said, and includes a growing immigrant population that has trouble in knowing how to access services.

Summit Health spent $17.3 million on new technology in the past year, said Epstein, including a image-guided radiation therapy system called Tomotherapy which delivers higher doses of radiation to tumors while minimizing exposure to surrounding tissue. That system cost $2.8 million, according to Summit Health figures.

Additionally, both hospitals received 64-slice CT scanners costing $1.1 million each, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Summit Health spent almost $750,000 on recruiting health care professionals and $4 million to help maintain existing physician practices, Epstein said. Franklin County, he said, "qualifies as a health professional shortage area."

The 248-bed Chambersburg Hospital generated $207.1 million in revenues, while Waynesboro Hospital, with 64 beds, produced $58.4 million, according to the annual report. Summit Health also has about 50 other affiliated organizations. Not counting the affiliates, the hospitals employ more than 2,100 people.

The two hospitals had more than 411,000 outpatient visits in the past year, more than 70,000 emergency room visits and almost 17,000 admissions. Additionally, almost 2,000 babies were born in the two hospitals in 2006-07.

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