HCMH budget calls for small surplus
Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor

Thanks to an overall increase in property values across the county, Hopkins County Memorial Hospital District will not change its tax rate of 16.37 cents per $100 property valuation.

The tax levy is only a small part of the anticipated $31.6 million in revenues projected in the hospital budget for the coming year. Expenditures are anticipated to be about even with revenues, but should leave the hospital with a budget surplus of $26,000 at the end of the upcoming fiscal year that starts Oct. 1.

That surplus, however, doesn't take into account the budgets of two other entities operating under the hospital's umbrella — Hopkins County Emergency Medical Services and Hopkins County Hospice.

When combined with budgets from the hospice program and the ambulance services in both Hopkins and Delta counties, the combined budgets are expected to show a loss, according to HCMH Chief Executive Officer Michael McAndrew.

��Total revenues from that are $34.1 million and total expenses are $34.3 million, so we are projecting a consolidated budget with a loss of almost $200,000 for hospice and EMS,� he said.

While the ambulance service operates efficiently and holds a tight rein on expenses, McAndrew said, like virtually all EMS departments, it operates at a loss.

�We have struggled with the economic issues in EMS,� he said. �It has consistently been losing money through no fault of theirs.� McAndrew also said payments from Medicare and insurance companies for services provided keep dropping.

�That�s where we are taking the biggest hit financially,� he said. �Nobody can run [EMS] at a profit that I am aware of ... we just have to look at it in the sense of a loss leader.�

Also figured into the upcoming budget are payroll increases for hospital district employees of 3 percent, up from a 2 percent increase last year.

There are also planned expenditures to bring additional health care services to HCMH, including a cardiac catherization lab and the expansion of the emergency department.

The budget will become effective on Oct. 1.

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