By Michael Dashiell
Olympic Peninsual News Group
PORT ANGELES — Olympic Medical Center’s seven-member board of commissioners have approved an operating budget for 2017.
OMC’s 2017 budget, approved Nov. 16, projects $373 million in gross revenue from inpatient and outpatient services plus about $6.4 million from other revenues such as tax collections, with about $195 million being paid in contracts and debt payments, and another $182 million in salaries, employee benefits, supplies, maintenance and other items.
The board also approved the recommended $16.6 million capital budget.
“We’ve made a lot of investments into the future [and] have added a lot of new staff. That takes time to get absorbed into the [budget] system,” OMC CFO Darryl Wolfe said.
“I think it’s setting us up well for the future,” said John Nutter, hospital board president.
The board also approved increasing OMC’s tax levy collection by 0.953 percent. State law allows taxing districts such as Clallam County’s public hospital district to increase their local levy tax collection by as much as 1 percent each year.
The approval provides $38,465 more to the center’s 2017 budget, Wolfe said. Overall, OMC will collect about $4.07 million from tax levy dollars in 2017.
Board directors agreed to budget for a hospital sewer lift station project that will help OMC connect with the Port Angeles sewer system. The project won’t exceed $68,260, Wolfe said.
Board directors agreed to permit funding for a remodel of a building in the 1000 block of Caroline Street. The building, which once housed Strait Orthopedic Services, will be used for more clinic space and some physical therapy services. That project, which is included in the 2017 budget, will not exceed $190,000, Wolfe said.
In other action, Olympic Medical Center’s new 42,000-square-foot medical office building is nearing completion, Lewis told board members.
The $16.2 million project, under construction by Kirtley-Cole Associates LLC of Everett, will include examination rooms, doctors’ offices, laboratories and primary-care and urgent-care clinics.
“We have tried to design a medical office building for the next 50 years, not based on what currently people have,” Lewis said in a previous interview.
“We will have more primary care access. We will have a walk-in clinic for urgent primary care. We will have more specialty physicians and surgeons. People will have options of staying local and getting the care they need.”
Lewis detailed a timeline of changes to OMC’s services as the building becomes operational in the coming weeks: specialty services moves into the facility prior to Christmas; Primary Care Clinic staff now working at the Eighth and Cherry Street clinic move in about one week after Christmas; Peninsula Children’s Clinic moves into the Eighth and Cherry Street facility by New Year’s Day, and the walk-in clinic at the new facility opens when parking lot is completed.
Patients can expect to be able to use the facility by Jan. 3, Lewis said. He noted that the building will have a centralized check-in desk but also two kiosks for self check-in, much like what airports use.
“Once all of this is done I think it’s going to look like a campus,” Lewis said.
Lewis also presented board members with a strategic plan for 2017-19, with the board giving its unanimous approval.
In a previous interview, Lewis said that while much of the plan will be similar to the 2016-18 plan, the 2017 version focuses on workforce development and recruitment, and retention of providers, nurses and employees across the board.
The hospital has received input throughout the year and among the top recommendations is to have more providers, he said.
“We want to make sure we have the workforce to meet our community’s needs,” he said.
The 2017 plan also will include the Sequim campus expansion, expanding the cancer center and expanding clinics, he said.
“We’ve really been working on this since January,” Lewis said. “It is a living document,” noting OMC officials can shift its goals and priorities as needed.
Lewis and board members also praised Olympic Medical Home Health for its 12th consecutive listing as a Home Care Elite organization.
The rating takes into account not only patient satisfaction but safety, Lewis said.
Olympic Medical Home Health added a new office in Sequim and another in Port Angeles in the past year, he said.
Out of 9,500 home health agencies, only 110 have been accredited with such an honor for the past 12 years, Lewis said.
Michael Dashiell is the editor of the Sequim Gazette of the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which also is composed of other Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News and Forks Forum. Reach him at email@example.com.