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Posted on Jan 7, 2016

Hospital expected to lose $1 million in 2015

Despite making some $1 million in budget cuts over the past year, the Quincy Valley Medical Center is expected to lose more than $1 million in 2015.

Hospital Commissioner Don Condit said the loss is a result of declining patient numbers.

“We’ve had a downturn in business,” he said.

Dean Taplett, hospital controller, said a drop in patients will cost the hospital about $1.2 million in 2015. The hospital may be facing more tough choices in the coming months, Taplett added.

“If we continue to (lose money), we’re going to crash,” hospital Commissioner Anthony Gonzalez said.

Commissioners and staff talked about the hospital’s most recent financial numbers at the board’s meeting last week. Hospital figures show that in the first 11 months of 2014, the hospital made $9.2 million in net operating revenue. In the same 11 months last year, net operating revenues were at $7.9 million, down nearly $1.3 million.

On top of those losses, bad debt and charity care were at $412,277 in the first 11 months of 2014. It is at just over $1 million for the same period in 2015, hospital numbers show.

Port of Quincy Commissioner Curt Morris suggested during the meeting that it’s time the hospital return to the Quincy City Council to again discuss how the city can help the hospital out.

In 2014, hospital officials approached the city council, asking that it consider buying $1.5 million in bonds from Grant County, which has a $3 million warrant line with the hospital. The county treasurer in the past has warned that the county may not pay any bills that come in above the $3 million cap. (Taplett said last week that the hospital is expected to be at that cap when the December financials are finalized.)

Hospital officials had hoped that a $2.2 million levy from taxpayers and a $1.5 million loan from the city would put it in better shape to pay down its loan from the county. However, the levy failed to pass in November 2014 and the city council did not act on the hospital’s request.

In most recent years, area taxing districts have benefited from increasing tax dollars generated by the construction of data centers in Quincy. However, it’s the city of Quincy that’s seen the largest benefit when it comes to tax dollars, Morris said.

The city’s 2016 budget projects $3.6 million in property tax revenues to be generated, which is about double what was generated in 2014. Total tax dollars to be generated in 2016 is estimated at nearly $6.4 million. The city already this year has generated $6.9 million in various tax revenues.

The entities here need to “cross that bridge” of distinguishing between the hospital’s and city’s tax dollars, Morris said.

“That’s not (the city’s) money, that’s all our money. Spread it around,” Morris said. “There has to be a way we can share the wealth … with the ones who are really struggling.”

Gonzalez said the city appreciates the county’s loan; however, the county is receiving $115,000 to $120,000 annually in interest payments on the warrants. That’s money that could stay in Quincy, Morris added.

“I think we have a unique situation in Quincy…that we have a city that’s drowning in cash and there’s no sign of that letting up,” he said.

Morris added that it’s a good time to approach the city because there are three new members on the council.

Hospital board president Randy Zolman on Tuesday said he has requested a meeting with Mayor Jim Hemberry to discuss revisiting the issue of a hospital-city partnership.

“Whether we get anything done, that is yet to be seen,” Zolman said.

In other hospital news, Michele Talley is expected to be appointed to the hospital’s board at its Jan. 25 meeting. Talley, a firefighter with Grant County Fire District No. 3, has agreed to fill the seat vacated by Darrell Van Dyke.


— By Jill FitzSimmons,

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