Parkland Hospital’s income is dropping while expenses are rising. KERA’s BJ Austin reports.
Hospital net income is more than 14 million dollars below projections so far this budget year. Patient volumes are lower. Officials cite fewer births, and fewer trauma cases. Parkland Board member Eddie Reeves says the hospital’s not losing money – yet.
Reeves: If these are just one or two time blips then we should recover, or recover substantially over the rest of the year. If they start to look more like long-term trends in additional to everything else we’re doing we’re going to have to take that into our planning process going forward.
Salaries are 7 million dollars over budget because of new hires to help Parkland address patient care and safety violations found during a critical federal inspection last year.
Reeves says that’s money Parkland must spend.
Reeves: That’s non-negotiable. What that means is what you have to do is look at other places where you’re spending money where you may have more flexibility. If this ends up being a long-term trend, that’s obviously what we would have to do.
Reeves says that would mean cuts in other Parkland programs to fund the corrections the hospital must make by April of next year in order to retain Medicaid and Medicare funding.