CPGH board OKs operating budget

Posted: Monday, June 28, 2004

A $398,000 expenditure for nuclear medicine imaging equipment was among items in a $1.7 million capital budget approved by the Central Peninsula General Hospital Inc. board of directors Thursday.

The board also unanimously approved the hospital's operating budget for fiscal year 2005.

Ed Burke, vice president of finance for the hospital, told the board the capital budget was divided into two priority categories, and initially only those items listed as priority No. 1 would be acquired.

Priority one items amount to $1,232,450 of the budget, with the remaining $540,455 for priority No. 2.

CPGH President and Chief Executive Officer Dave Gil-breath said directors of the hospital's departments worked hard to prioritize their department needs.

The hospital's operating budget for the fiscal year, which begins July 1, has a net operating revenue of $48,729,497, compared to $35,310,417 three years ago.

Total operating expenses for the year would be $48,396,808, according to Burke.

"Because of the tenuous nature of the (patient) census, there will only be a small increase in employee expenses," he said. "We are keeping the staffing levels relatively the same this year."

Patient census was below expected levels during the first three months of 2004, resulting in hospital administrators placing a temporary freeze on hiring and limiting employee expenses.

In other board action, an agreement between CPGH and South Peninsula Hospital was approved regarding the Sexual Abuse Response Team and Sexual Abuse Nurse Examiner program.

According to a resolution passed unanimously by the board, the two hospitals have recognized a need to assist each other in providing support to area residents in sexual abuse cases.

The program, which will now be known as the Kenai Peninsula SART/SANE Program, will train nurse examiners and establish common procedures and protocols at the two facilities, according to Chief Nursing Officer Lee Jackson.

"It will expand our ability to better serve patients," Jackson said. "We are now in the process of training nurse examiners."

Gilbreath told the board the agreement between the hospitals will enable people to be examined at CPGH rather than needing to be sent to Homer for examination.

Jackson said CPGH would have two trained registered nurses and two more in training. In addition to learning the medical care work at the hospital, the nurses will be trained to work with police departments and with the justice system.

The board also authorized the chief executive officer to apply for the Rural Community Hospital Demonstration Program, which provides funding for enhanced services to the chronically ill, the uninsured, the unemployed and the elderly.

The demonstration program is a five-year project that could increase the hospital's Medi-care reimbursements and allow CPGH to provide an increased level of service as a result.

The hospital's grants program coordinator, Sue Caswell, told the board the application would be based on the hospital's financial need, the impact its programs have on the community and the benefits to the community.

Some CPGH programs evaluated under the project include the 10,000 Steps health awareness program, a new diabetic education program and two planned programs one for outpatient monitoring of anti-coagulating patients and one for chronic pain management.

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