Veterans Memorial Hospital experiences positive month of May, beginning to see impact of new medical clinic

by Brianne Eilers

The month of May ended on a positive financial note for Veterans Memorial Hospital (VMH) in Waukon, with a net income of $259,036. VMH Administrator Michael Coyle noted that the hospital had $200,000 more income in comparison to the month of May last year, according to information shared at the June 22 meeting of the VMH Board of Trustees.

Expenses were at $1,644,468, compared to $1,318,860 last year. Coyle explained that the expenses for this year are being impacted by the wages, salaries and supplies for the medical clinic. The increase in revenue is also tied to the medical clinic.

“Financially, we’re doing very good,” Coyle noted. He also added that for the year, VMH has a net income of $2,363,144, compared to last year’s loss of $372,208 at this time. Coyle explained that most of the dollars in the net income figure for this year are from the Provider Relief Fund due to COVID, but even if that money is factored out, it would still be a positive year.

The total profit margin for the month was calculated at 15.9%, and the number of days of cash on hand is at 219 days. The number of days in Accounts Receivable is at 46.9, which Coyle noted is better than the national average.

Patient admissions are staying equal to last year, with 36 admissions in May compared to 38 last year. There were 13 deliveries in May. Swing bed admissions were up 30% from last year. There were also 322 Emergency Room (ER) visits, compared to 195 last year.

“We are starting to see, now that the medical clinic is open - especially during the week, a significant decline in our Urgent Care,” Coyle noted. Urgent Care had 113 visits in May, compared to 89 last year, but Coyle noted that each month that number declines because of the new clinic.

There were 24 MRIs performed in May, compared to 19 last year, and there were 83 ultrasounds, compared to 55 last year. VMH also conducted 104 mammograms in May of this year, compared to 55 last year. Coyle stated that some of the increase in these numbers are in direct relation to the medical clinic.

“Most of that revenue ends up in the hospital with lab and x-rays and those areas,” he explained.

A big area impacted by the medical clinic is bone density scanning. VMH had just two scans last year, versus 14 this May. Coyle also noted that the therapy department continues to be going strong, with 2,210 outpatient units (15-minute increments of time), compared to last year’s 631. That number is directly impacted by COVID.

Coyle also cautioned that while COVID isn’t gone, there are departments that see numbers trending more towards normal. Home Health visits were at 243 this year, compared to 190 last year. While it’s still a significant number, it is trending down. The month of June started out busier than May.

In other matters, the board discussed education needs to be able to stay educated and current on health care issues. VMH is developing a board education program. The hospital is also working on rewriting all its by-laws, including hospital by-laws, medical staff by-laws and rules and regulations for medical staff. Coyle noted that it has been a while since those have been looked at.

The Veterans Memorial Healthcare Foundation held its golf tournament at the end of May, and the event had the most teams ever entered in the tournament, as well as the most sponsors ever. “It was nice having an event again,” Coyle said.

The hospital also held its Safety Camp in May, with over 150 kids participating. Coyle thanked the community for attending the golf tournament and sending kids to the Safety Camp.

“One of our Pillars of Success is Community Involvement,” Coyle explained. He added that they look to the community for suggestions on topics they would like to learn about or things they need from VMH, like CPR or First Aid Classes, or speakers for events. He encourages community members and groups to contact the hospital.

The new medical clinic will also begin offering Tele-behavioral Health (behavioral health in clinic through tele-medicine) and Holter Event Monitors (measuring heart activity over a period of time). Coyle also added that the clinic will be working on a vaccination program for children (VFC program).