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Archive for Tuesday, December 19, 2006

KU Hospital reports good fiscal year

December 19, 2006

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Quality services spurred a financially good year at the University of Kansas Hospital, officials said Monday.

KU Hospital, the teaching hospital for KU Medical Center, cited jumps in national rankings as it released its fiscal 2006 annual report.

"We've started to hit our stride now," said Bob Page, senior vice president and chief operating officer. "I absolutely believe that we're going to become a role model locally, regionally and nationally in terms of quality and safety."

Officials said net income nearly doubled from $37.6 million in fiscal 2005 to $72 million this year. Spokesman Dennis McCulloch noted that $24 million of the bottom line was one-time revenue from the finalization of the hospital's Medicaid plan with the state.

"We don't think of it as profit," McCulloch said of the total net income. "That money is plowed directly back into investment, into the program - whether it's capital investment, whether it's people, whether it's training. ... It is going toward reinvestment in clinical excellence."

Outpatient volume rose from fiscal 2005, but inpatient visits decreased slightly and emergency visits also decreased by about 2,000 visits. Officials attributed the dips to capacity issues and sick patients who required longer stays.

"If you have very sick patients and you have a limited number of beds, the longer those sick patients stay, you're not turning those beds over and making them available for other people," Page said.

Officials said they expect the capacity issue to be somewhat relieved by the recent opening of the Center for Advanced Heart Care and other new patient care units.

The hospital also reported providing nearly $81 million in uncompensated care to the uninsured, up from $73 million the previous year.

And, the hospital noted, it climbed from 33rd to 11th place in overall safety and quality rankings in the University HealthSystem Consortium composite ranking of academic medical centers.

The hospital is in talks with KU Medical Center over a new affiliation agreement. KU Hospital has proposed paying the Med Center $400 million over 10 years if the hospital remains the primary teaching hospital for KU and will be the lead clinical facility for National Cancer Institute designation. The offer would allow the medical center to expand partnerships with other entities, but only if they didn't create a competitive disadvantage to KU Hospital, officials said.

McCulloch said the key to the hospital's future was the ability to invest in training, people and other areas.

"We have built this organization on a concept of care ... and that has to be maintained," he said.

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