River's Edge Hospital expects to be in the black again in 2016
ST. PETER — River's Edge Hospital expects to continue to bounce back financially through 2015 and 2016.
River's Edge, a city-owned nonprofit hospital, projects it will end the year with revenues ahead of expenses about $600,000. This is nearly $400,000 more than originally planned.
"When we budgeted in 2014 for 2015, we were projecting to finish with a positive bottom line, which was very encouraging because it had not happened since 2008," said Stephanie Hill, director of marketing for the hospital.
The budget planned for an amount over $200,000. But hospital officials were not sure what to expect from a partnership with Mankato's Orthopaedic and Fracture Clinic. The hospital is the site for knee, hip and shoulder replacements, as well as other procedures, in a program called OrthoEdge. Originally, the hospital planned for 28 procedures each month.
"Now we're at 50 to 65, which is incredible," Hill said.
OrthoEdge is the main driver for continuing excess revenue, expected at nearly $730,000 in 2016. Revenue is expected to total $29.6 million, while expenses come in at $28.9 million in the budget, approved by the hospital's board on Nov. 23.
Another program is expected to contribute as well. The hospital plans to split out urgent care services from the emergency department.
"We are expanding urgent care hours on Dec. 1," Hill said. "Urgent care will still be located in the emergency department until we make the move out of the department into its own department."
Urgent care will be open 3 to 10 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
And the hospital will save $170,000 on four fewer full-time staff as a result of this month's closure of River's Edge Clinic, which proved to be a money-losing venture. The clinic employed 12, but the hospital could retain some of the employees.
With the extra revenue, Hill says the hospital is investing back into the facility and staff. The hospital is remodeling a former baby nursery into dwelling space for the hospitalist. And the room where the hospitalist has spent shifts that run a week long will return to use as a patient room.
The hospital also will pay for half of a 25 percent increase in health insurance premiums for staff.
"That's about $500,000 that the organization is picking up for benefits in addition to what we would normally do," Hill said.
Overall, the hospital expects to pay $1.3 million more for benefits in 2016 than it will in 2015, an increase of more than 50 percent.