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Archive for Friday, February 1, 2002

KU Med Center boosts income by 75 percent

February 1, 2002

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With a growing number of patients, Kansas University Medical Center's net income increased more than 75 percent, to $9.4 million, during its 2001 fiscal year compared with the previous year.

Medical center officials said Wednesday that the hospital also invested more than $32 million in patient care expansion, including a revitalized cardiology program and new technology for diagnosing and treating cancer, during the fiscal year ended June 30.

"These investments add depth and breadth to patient care at KU Med," said Irene Cumming, the hospital's president and chief executive officer.

Cumming said the hospital hopes to spend an additional $170 million on capital expenditures over the next five years. About half the money would go toward building upkeep and equipment replacement. The rest would expand patient care areas at the hospital's main campus in Kansas City, Kan.

The hospital's board is expected to consider details of the proposed capital improvement program this spring.

Scott Glasrud, the medical center's chief financial officer, said the strong financial results occurred at a time when academic medical centers of similar size lost an average of $7 million.

However, Glasrud said, the hospital faced financial uncertainty on several fronts, including future reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid.

"The economic downturn and rising health care premiums will continue to put pressure on providers, while the cost of doing business is growing, particularly to recruit and retain top people to provide patient care," Glasrud said.

Hospital officials said the medical center had reached an agreement with the Kansas University Endowment Association to create an endowment fund for the hospital. Fund-raising is under way, but no specific goal or timetable has been set.

KU Med Center was part of the Kansas University Medical Center until 1998, when it was freed from most state controls. It still serves as the teaching hospital for the KU schools of medicine, nursing and allied health.

KU Med Center provided more than $29 million in uncompensated care during its latest fiscal year, $9 million more than the year before. Most of uncompensated care was for emergency, trauma and burn services.

Nearly half of KU Med Center's uncompensated-care patients come from Wyandotte County, where the hospital is based. A third come from other Kansas counties. More than 18 percent come from Missouri.

KU Med Center's assets were valued at $239 million during its latest fiscal year, $205 million more than the previous year.

The 2000 and 2001 dollar amounts reflect consolidated financial results for the main hospital in Kansas City, Kan.; the KU MedWest outpatient center in Shawnee; and the Jayhawk Primary Care clinics in the Kansas City area.

The 2001 numbers include operations of Mid-America Cardiology and MidAmerica Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons, groups that joined KU Med Center in fiscal 2001.

KU Med Center in November received permission from a national organ transplant network to do heart transplants again. Unanimous approval from the board of the United Network for Organ Sharing came more than six years after KU shut down its previous heart transplant program amid disclosures that it was admitting patients while turning away donor hearts.

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