Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital misplaced tens of millions throughout first a part of 2022 | Native

September 19, 2022

Unprecedented. Huge. Unsustainable. These phrases have been used to explain the monetary disaster dealing with hospitals within the Yakima Valley, the state of Washington and the nation for the primary portion of 2022.

Quarterly stories filed with the state’s Division of Well being by Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital officers have added a quantity to go along with these phrases: $28.1 million.

That determine is the funds shortfall Yakima’s solely full-service hospital and trauma heart reported for the primary and second quarters of 2022, via June 30, based on the DOH.

The Yakima Valley’s different two hospitals, Astria services in Sunnyside and Toppenish, additionally reported first-quarter losses, with second-quarter numbers not but obtainable.

All three hospitals replicate the grim actuality dealing with well being care suppliers all through the state and nation, stated Cassie Sauer, president and CEO of the Washington State Hospital Affiliation.

Sauer and the WSHA reported in July {that a} statewide membership survey confirmed a web lack of $929 million for Washington hospitals throughout January, February and March. A number of WSHA officers and hospital directors throughout the state stated the monetary disaster is the worst they’ve ever seen of their a long time of labor within the well being care business.

“We don’t but have second-quarter monetary outcomes (we’re surveying now), however what we’re listening to anecdotally just isn’t encouraging,” Sauer wrote in an e-mail to the Yakima Herald-Republic.

“For a lot of hospitals, issues have gotten worse (because the first quarter of 2022),” she wrote. “The price of employees and provides retains going up, and the lack to get sufferers out who don’t want hospital care (into long-term care services) is crushing.”


Carole Peet, CEO and president of Virginia Mason Memorial, speaks at a press convention in entrance of the hospital’s emergency entrance on Saturday, March 21, 2020, in Yakima, Wash.

Memorial’s stories

Yakima Valley Memorial’s monetary state of affairs was referenced earlier this month because the hospital introduced it could scale back using touring nurses by Oct. 1 and replace its staffing plan in response to “massive monetary losses” it’s dealing with in 2022.

Whereas the hospital didn’t present particular knowledge, hospital officers acknowledged “massively inflated prices for vacationers” — RNs, typically supplied by well being care staffing companies, who signal a contract to fill non permanent positions — was among the many causes bills outpaced income within the first half of 2022.

In July, Memorial Vice President and Chief Monetary Officer Susan Sauder stated the hospital “has suffered unsustainable damaging margins and money circulate via the primary two quarters of 2022.”

Sauder stated the battle to search out workers and using non permanent employees to fill a few of these openings have contributed to Memorial’s monetary issues, with non permanent labor prices escalating by 201% through the previous 12 months.

The quarterly stories filed with the state Division of Well being confirmed the observations of Sauder and different Memorial officers.

As seen within the adjoining chart, Memorial had an working margin of minus-$6.9 million within the first quarter of 2022. When nonoperating losses from investments and different sources are added, the entire margin for January, February and March of this 12 months is minus-$10 million.

The second quarter was worse, with a complete margin of minus-$18.1 million, bringing the 2022 shortfall via June 30, 2022 to minus-$28.1 million, based on the DOH figures.

Memorial has 222 licensed beds, based on the state hospital affiliation’s web site. It was based in 1950 and is ruled by the non-public, nonprofit Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital Affiliation.

Different space hospitals

Astria hospitals in Sunnyside and Toppenish additionally misplaced cash within the first quarter of 2022, with the DOH stories displaying a $182,352 deficit at Astria Sunnyside Hospital and a $1.3 million shortfall at Astria Toppenish Hospital. Second-quarter monetary knowledge was not obtainable.

Each hospitals are smaller than Yakima Valley Memorial. Astria Sunnyside is a vital entry hospital with 25 beds, whereas Astria Toppenish is a 63-bed group hospital, based on www.astria.well being.

It was a special story for Prosser Memorial Hospital, on the western fringe of Benton County.

The 25-bed vital entry hospital had a optimistic complete margin of roughly $2.5 million within the first quarter and principally matched it within the second quarter, with a year-to-date surplus of $5,139,071 reported via June 30.

Prosser Memorial introduced in February plans to construct a brand new facility on 33 acres north of Interstate 82. Hospital officers not too long ago reported that the mission has been slowed by inflation and provide chain points, inflicting its estimated price to extend to $103 million and timeline to be delayed. Groundbreaking is anticipated someday this fall, with the brand new facility anticipated to open in late 2024.

Yakima Valley Memorial additionally might see adjustments quickly. On Could 9, officers with Memorial and MultiCare Well being Techniques of Tacoma stated the 2 well being organizations had been contemplating a merger.

A “due diligence and knowledge sharing course of” that initially was estimated to take a number of months has been prolonged via the summer season.

Hospital officers stated the nursing and different staffing choices being made at Memorial aren’t tied to the potential merger.

State, nationwide developments

Staffing shortages and the price to fill these positions with touring workers stays a significant problem for hospitals throughout Washington and throughout the nation.

Earlier this month, Yakima Valley Memorial officers famous Washington state has 6,800 open RN positions throughout the well being care spectrum, with 35 RN positions presently open on the Yakima hospital.

Sauer, with the WSHA, stated Washington’s issues are the identical confronted by different hospitals throughout the nation, though “our Medicaid reimbursement charges are actually low, and our troublesome to discharge affected person drawback is worse.”

An August report from the information analytics division of the Kaufman Corridor well being care administration consulting firm confirmed decrease outpatient volumes and rising bills have brought about monetary difficulties for the nation’s hospitals via July.

The report by Kaufman Corridor’s Erik Swanson confirmed a median year-to-date working margin of practically minus-1% via July for U.S. hospitals, underscoring the persevering with losses many services have skilled in 2022.

“An rising variety of sufferers continued to decide on ambulatory facilities over hospital settings for surgical procedures, an indication of a bigger shift to ambulatory care and new methods of accessing care outdoors of the hospital,” Swanson wrote in his report abstract. “As outpatient exercise and income sank, labor bills, which have remained effectively above pre-pandemic ranges all through 2022, rose.”

The WHSA’s Sauer believes the perfect options to hospitals’ monetary woes could possibly be addressed by public coverage.

Tops on her record is offering extra rehabilitation heart and long-term care capability so state-sponsored sufferers can go away hospitals after their acute care wants are met.

“Caring for them could be very costly, and as soon as they’ve accomplished their acute care remedy, the hospital will get little to no cash,” Sauer wrote in an e-mail to the Herald-Republic.

“We additionally want to extend our abysmally low Medicaid charges — which might be notably useful in Yakima, with a excessive Medicaid inhabitants — and develop the pipeline for well being employee employees,” she added.

A whole record of quarterly monetary knowledge for hospitals throughout the state is obtainable on the Division of Well being’s web site, doh.wa.gov. Go to the “Information and Statistical Assets” tab, click on “Healthcare in Washington” then “Hospital and Affected person Information” and go to the quarterly stories listed beneath hospital monetary knowledge.

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