OMC commissioners review 2021 budget

New PET-CT scanning equipment purchase approved

PORT ANGELES — Olympic Medical Center commissioners have been briefed on a proposed 2021 budget and approved the purchase of a PET-CT scanner, an imaging system that helps detect cancer and learn its stage.

Chief Financial Officer Lorraine Cannon discussed on Wednesday the 2021 capital budget and budget assumptions, basing projections off of 2019 data as 2020 has been too heavily impacted by COVID-19 to prove useful in forecasting.

Operating revenues are projected at $243,791,430 for 2021 with operating expenses set at $239,050,064, a net margin of 2 percent, in line with OMC goals.

Rises expected

The largest employer in Clallam County expects to see inpatient and outpatient care services rise by 6.6 and 7 percent, respectively, in 2021 with more patients treated through its behavioral health and wound care clinics and increased imaging services thanks to the new PET-CT scanner.

“With the Wound Care Clinic coming online and PET scans rising with new equipment, we are projecting increases in volume in 2021,” Cannon said.

Service fees are expected to rise in 2021 to adjust for increases in fees from insurance companies.

A 2-percent rise in pharmacy billing and less than a 1-percent bump in physician’s clinic services is proposed along with 5-percent increases in inpatient, outpatient, emergency, home health and surgical care.

“We are trying to be mindful of the most commonly used items, such as going to your doctor and needing a prescription,” Cannon said of potential rate adjustments.

“You are trying to make sure you are not leaving money on the table [compensation for claims] from the insurance companies.”

A small rise in uncompensated care also is expected in 2021 after a dip in 2020 attributed to COVID-19.

A vote on the 2021 budget is expected during the next board meeting Nov. 18.

PET-CT scan

Commissioners ap-proved nearly $3 million in funding to purchase the new PET-CT scanning equipment and fund a seven-year service contract with GE Precision Health.

The equipment itself will cost $1,542,203.91 and a seven-year service contract that will go into effect after a one-year warranty expires is an additional $1,112,811.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Scott Kennedy said the new device would dramatically improve the level of service for PET-CT patients.

“It will allow us to convert from using a trailer outside in the weather to move inside to the medical services building in Sequim with permanent equipment,” Kennedy said.

“There will be construction that is involved with several rooms for the new PET-CT.”

Construction costs are estimated at around $500,000.

Commissioner Jim Leskinovitch served on a selection committee for the equipment.

“We are going to improve the service to our population here by having this equipment in-house as opposed to only coming up a few days in the rickety outfit, a trailer in the weather out there. Being of older age some of the people that I saw, so we will have better service, better everything by getting this equipment and it will be better for the community.”

Kennedy said installation of the device is expected around June 30.

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Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-406-0674 or [email protected].

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