If you are like me, you are hoping that Punxsutawney Phil was correct and we are going to have an early spring. The month of February has had a significant winter impact on all of us. Yet, we know warm temperatures and sunny days are almost here!
The impact of the privatization of Medicaid since April 2016 continues to have a significant impact on the health center. Our finance team, along with the health center’s auditors, recently completed an analysis of the impact this past fiscal year. The negative impact on the health center this last fiscal year was a reduction in payment of approximately $860,000. Combining last fiscal year with the year prior, the impact grows to nearly $1.9 million. These impacts have created significant financial challenges to the health center’s income statement and operations. Last fiscal year, the health center lost $1.7 million from operations.
During the February 2019 Board of Trustees meeting, the Trustees did approve to increase the tax levy for the health center for fiscal year 2020. Without changing the levy rate, the health center would realize an increase of $60,000 in the health center property tax revenue due to the valuation increase of the county. The Board of Trustees approved changing the levy rate from 1.61865 to 1.89651. This levy increase on a home assessed at $100,000 would be an increase of approximately $16 a year. Total increase in property tax dollars for fiscal year 2020 is $302,491.
We are also continuing our advocacy efforts working with the Iowa Hospital Association and the State of Iowa legislature to restore cost based reimbursement for Critical Access Hospitals in Iowa. We are remaining hopeful that in this legislative session there will be some movement in this direction. We are also looking for continued advocacy support to assist and support all of the EMS services in our state. EMS services in the state are being severely impacted by the Medicaid MCO’s. Thank you to all of our community partners and colleagues who are advocating for an enhancement to the current system.
I would like to conclude by congratulating and recognizing our amazing associates, medical staff and our Board of Trustees for the recent recognition the health center received as a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital for 2019. Henry County Health Center was last recognized in 2016. This is a tremendous honor to receive. The recognition comes from The Chartis Center for Rural Health based upon the results of the Hospital Strength INDEX® from iVantage Health Analytics. These results are taken from publicly reported data of all hospitals. The measures are taken from areas of inpatient market share, outpatient market share, cost, charge, quality, outcomes, patient perspective and financial stability. Iowa, impressively, had the most number of hospitals make the Top 100 with 15 Iowa Critical Access Hospitals making the list. There are 1349 Critical Access Hospitals in the United States. To be amongst the top 100 out of 1349 is a testament to the wonderful work our associates and medical staff do on a daily basis.
Thanks again for taking the time to read our e-newsletter. Please make sure to look at the current newsletter to review the different events that will be occurring here at the health center that you may find benefit from. As always, I hope you find it informative and helpful for your health care. If you should happen to have any questions, please feel free to contact Shelley Doak or myself and we will be happy to follow up with you.