Olympic Medical Center OKs 2013 budget, looks to the future

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Olympic Medical Center has updated its three-year plan with a focus on electronic health records and its affiliation with Swedish Medical Center.

Hospital commissioners voted 7-0 last week to approve a 31-goal strategic plan and a $139 million break-even budget for next year

“The challenge will be achieving those 31 goals, but that’s something that we’re up for,” OMC Chief Executive Officer Eric Lewis said.

The goals in the plan, which is updated annually, fall under three categories:

■ Quality patient safety and satisfaction

■ OMC and community relations.

■ Organizational performance.

Lewis said the biggest goal for 2013 will be implementing Epic computerized records and the associated Lawson software.

“That is huge,” he said.

OMC will recover most of the $7.6 million it spent to purchase the state-of-the-art record-keeping system from Medicare incentives over four years.

Medicare would have cut OMC’s reimbursement by 1 percent in 2015, 2 percent in 2016 and 3 percent in 2017 if it had stayed with paper charts.

Epic by May

OMC hopes to go live with Epic by May. The project has begun in earnest.

“As an organization, I’ve never seen us more focused on a project,” Lewis said.

“Our employees across the organization are enthusiastic and positive.”

Other key goals include the expansion of OMC’s affiliation with Swedish, particularly in cardiology services, legislative advocacy and maintaining stable economics, Lewis said.

The plan was developed by a committee that gathered input from the community and staff.

“I think it was a serious effort with a lot of thought,” Lewis said.

“There’s lots of good things in it, like recruiting certain specialties and developing facilities.

“I really think we have the right goals to lead us forward.”

The strategic plan and 2013 budget were presented in a public hearing Nov. 7.

No members of the public testified during the public comment period in that meeting.

Both documents were approved Wednesday as they were presented last week.

1 percent rise in levy

Commissioners approved a 1 percent increase in OMC’s annual property tax levy.

The increase amounts to $37,637 for a new total of $3.8 million.

The budget shows $139.2 million in operating revenue and $70,052 in operating income. It includes $15 million in capital spending and $11 million in uncompensated care.

OMC projects a modest gain in patient volume in 2013 after a particularly slow year.

The inpatient-outpatient combined census is down 7 percent so far this year.

Recruit cardiologist

Later in the meeting, Chief Physician Officer Rebecca Corley introduced an agreement with Swedish to recruit a third cardiologist.

The new heart doctor would join Drs. James Emery and Kara Kurtz Urnes at OMC.

“The agreement is similar to what we have in place for neurology and sleep medicine, which has been very successful and is going very, very well,” Corley said.

“The difference in this agreement is that it will be a joint financial model in which Olympic Medical Center and Swedish Medical Center will each be paying 50 percent of any cost.”

The board will consider approving the agreement next month.

Lewis said OMC will work closely with the Swedish Heart and Vascular Institute to expand the cardiology services offered on the North Olympic Peninsula.

“There’s lots of work going on in cardiology, and it will be a focus for the coming few months,” Lewis said.

Board Chairman Dr. John Miles said: “I think the board is very interested in seeing this happen as soon as possible.”

Top 500

Earlier in the board meeting, Olympic Medical Home Health was recognized for its placement in the top 500 in HomeCare Elite, a compilation of top-performing home health agencies in the nation.

HomeCare Elite evaluated 10,177 home health agencies for quality outcomes, process measure implementation, patient experience, quality improvement and financial performance.

In the seven years of the award, Olympic Medical Home Health made the top 100 four times and the top 500 three times.

“We’ve done very well, and we’re just very proud of the fact that we’ve been able to achieve these quality outcomes, that consistency in quality and our great patient satisfaction,” said Fran Sisson, Olympic Medical Home Health administrator, while thanking her staff.

“It’s no small accomplishment when you think that there are 10,000-plus agencies in this country, and that’s how we rate amongst them.”

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: November 17. 2012 5:32PM
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