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We have an outstanding and profitable hospital

Posted: Sunday, September 19, 2010

I would like to reflect on the outstanding achievements of our local hospital and medical healthcare community. These achievements take time, resources and commitment by the Board of Directors and the employees.

First, the hospital has been nominated to receive the Plains Tree Quality certification for providing High Quality Healthcare to patients with empathy and compassion, which is commonly referred to as patient-centered health care.

Second, CPGH Inc., the hospital non-profit operating entity that manages our hospital, is profitable. A big thank you to the CPGH Board and employees.

To accomplish both of these, quality healthcare and profitability, is kind of unusual for a small community, locally owned non-profit hospital in this day and age with the demands for modern health care technology. The reason for this is that most of us as tax payers do not have the time to understand how the health care industry has changed and what you need to do to provide quality health care locally. Thus, many communities have not supported bonds issues that will provide the community with the facilities and equipment need to provide modern health care. These tax payers do not understand the total amount of benefits it generates for the community. Fortunately for us, because of our location, most tax payers have supported bond issues to expand our hospital even though they did not understand the total benefits to the community.

Just because you are a non-profit entity does not mean you are not profitable, all it means is that if there are any profits, those profits have to be used to support the charitable mission of the non-profit. CPGH Inc. is a non-profit entity formed by the community leaders and the Borough Assembly in the 1980s, but it has to operate just like a for-profit entity or it could not survive. We cannot afford to locally support a hospital that does not generate enough revenue to pay for the services it provides to patients.

The hospital is generating enough revenue to pay for the following:

The hospital brings in over $90 million in net revenues to the community from outside the community to pay for medical services provide to the residents. This money comes from insurance companies and government health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

This enables the Hospital to pay for the medical services it provides to the patients it serves.

The hospital provides the money to repay the general obligation bonds we voted for. Very little of the tax dollars we pay has ever gone to pay for the general obligation bonds. It usually goes to acquire equipment that is used to provide emergency medical care or medical services.

The hospital generates enough money to purchase most of the new equipment needed.

The hospital generates enough money to provide for charity care to residents, who are often our friends and neighbors.

The hospital, I am told, employees 650 people and that probably creates another 300-plus medical service jobs in the area that employee family, friends or neighbors.

A modern hospital enables specialist doctors to practice in the area and that brings in over $30 million per year to the community and this creates additional jobs.

This sounds like a great success story to me. While helping to provide for our local community health care needs, we have created jobs that brings money into the community to pay for our hospital that provides high quality health care.

As a financial analyst and economist I know of no other investment or expenditure that will give a community such a high dollar return on its investments because of the dollars it brings into the community, the jobs it creates and the quality of life it provides in terms of health care to the residents.

Dayne Clark

Soldotna



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