SCK Health Expecting $1M+ Loss For 2022, Cites Inflation And Rise In Bad Debt

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SCK Health says it has seen an “unprecedented” increase in costs due to inflation, along with a rise in bad debt and charity care.

According to a press release form the Ark City-based hospital Thursday, it is working on ways to to balance these challenges.

“May was a difficult month financially for us,” Chairperson Dan Jurkovich stated in the press release. “Anytime you expand, it will be costly. The SCK administration will be looking to keep costs in check as we see our new providers and new equipment begin operating in full.

“We will continue to be vigilant to ensure finances rebound. I would be more worried if we didn’t have as much cash in the bank and the recent expansion.”

The hospital says with the increase in costs and increase in write-offs, it is facing a loss north of $1M for 2022.

“We understand that as costs rise there are more and more patients who are unable to cover the costs of their medical bills,” the hospital stated. “We never want to increase that strain, so we do not increase our costs when our supply costs increase.”

In the press release, SCK Health referenced a report by Becker’s Hospital CFO Jim Milligan.

“While we are seeing hospitals revenues inch up, it is simply not enough to mitigate the skyrocketing costs of material and labor expenses, resulting in negative operating margins for the nation’s hospitals and health systems,” Milligan said.

SCK Health says it did experience a revenue increase in both April and May, but not enough to cover the increases in essential services and materials.

“Our staff has worked hard to find cost savings where they can, but it is tricky when a box of gloves increases from $78 a box to $380 a box,” the hospital said. “Staff maintains a positive attitude and community-minded approach to maintain a healthy supply of materials, medications, blood, and any of the other staples needed for the hospital to run smoothly.”

“SCK Health is working diligently to provide high-quality healthcare to Cowley County. The addition of Dr. Bloedel and his practice will be able to spread even wider than his previous private practice. Based on Dr. Bloedel’s historical private practice financials, SCK Health anticipates $3.5-4M in increased revenues.

“We hope to see costs return to normal, but in the meantime, we will continue to find ways to keep our doors open and provide the care our community needs.”

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