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Posted on Dec 31, 2019

Medical center submits levy for February ballot

The Quincy Valley Medical Center will try again this coming February to pass a levy.
The medical center has submitted a request to run another ballot measure in Grant County’s special election on Feb. 11, said Glenda Bishop, Quincy Valley Medical Center CEO. It will ask voters to approve an $875,000 operations and maintenance levy that failed in November by less than 1%, about 20 votes. Hospital levies require 60% voter approval and sunset after one year.
Even if the levy passes in February, though, it will not apply to the 2020 budget, Bishop said. Meaning the medical center will be without the $875,000 in its 2020 budget.
“Which means we’re really going to have to sharpen our pencils and be very responsible in 2020,” she said.
The medical center submitted its 2020 budget to the Grant County Commission in November, Bishop said. Next year it appears that expenditures will exceed revenues without the levy.
The medical center has not made any cuts to its staff or services, she said. It is already running on very conservative staffing and there is no more room to cut.
The situation is too bad as with the levy the medical center has been healthy in 2019, she said. As of November the medical center had about a $366,000 net income, compared to a $735,000 net loss at about the same time in 2018, a swing of over $1 million.
“I think our numbers this year are a strong indication of just how important those operation and maintenance levies are for the hospital district,” Bishop said. “So we’ll be conveying that message in the weeks to come.”
The medical center also saw improvements in regards to patient revenue in 2019, an important indicator of fiscal health, she said. The medical center gained about $1.5 million in patient revenue, in particular from additional service lines, such as wound care.
“It does show that patient revenue obviously is the driver,” Bishop said. “If you’re not bringing in patients, you’re not bringing in any revenue.”

By Tony Buhr