WhidbeyHealth budget set at $272 million

Additional patients forecast at hospital, clinics

WhidbeyHealth expects to see more patients at its new hospital wing next year and at its new Oak Harbor women’s clinic, potentially boosting the bottom line.

Additional patients at WhidbeyHealth Medical Center and at its Goldie Road facility are forecast in the $272 million operating budget for 2018, Ron Telles, chief financial officer, told the Whidbey Island Hospital District Board of Commissioners at its monthly meeting.

Telles projected a 50 percent patient increase — or 2,500 more visits — at Women’s Care Oak Harbor that’s now part of a hub that also includes primary care, sleep care and physical therapy. It offers obstetrics, gynecology and nurse practitioner services.

Additionally, 8 percent more overnight patients are expected at WhidbeyHealth Medical Center, which opened its 39-room addition months ago.

Even though the new wing has only single occupancy rooms, as opposed to the old unit’s shared rooms, it’s easier to place patients, Telles said.

“It’s a better use of space in the new wing,” he said. “Before we had to match female to female patients in one room and male to male. Now that’s not a consideration.”

The budget passed unanimously.

Wages will increase 2 to 2.5 percent for union workers, which include nurses, technological, imaging and housekeeping support staff.

The public health system expects a net revenue of $111.8 million, up about $3.1 million from 2017. It anticipates $111.4 million in expenses.

Telles said he may be underestimating the revenue increase.

“That could be a conservative number,” he said. “From what we’re already seeing, I think more people will be coming into the Oak Harbor clinic.”

More providers and services are part of the reason.

By March, Telles said five providers will be rotating through Oak Harbor Women’s Clinic. It’s equipped with diagnostic technology purchased with funds from the WhidbeyHealth Foundation.

Additionally, by spring, the system will be fully staffed at its hospital and all seven clinics.

Payroll, including benefits, for WhidbeyHealth’s 655 full-time employees amounts to $66.8 million — about 55 percent of the budget.

More in News

Records requests increases budget

City Hall adding staff to establish new system, comply with state law

Rural event code adopted

Living near rural wedding venues, neighbors may still hear the Macarena, but… Continue reading

Burglars furnish vacant house with stolen loot

A man and a woman moved into a temporarily vacant house on… Continue reading

Photo provided
Neo-Nazis accused in hate crime attended vigil on Whidbey

An alleged hate crime in Lynnwood this week prompted news organizations across… Continue reading

Mayer spreads Christmas warmth, cheer

Kids quilts made with love by 90-year-old seamstress

Donating to food bank will spread good cheer

For many, this time of the year is a time to make… Continue reading

Tickets going fast for Whidbey’s debut film festival on Jan. 12-13

‘Femme fatales of Film Noir.’ Sultry, saucy and possibly a sell-out

Police ‘expert’ in use of force charged in stabbing

A use-of-force expert hired by the city of Langley to evaluate the… Continue reading

WhidbeyHealth decreasing its costs to patients

Prices reduced about one-third for physical therapy, other services

Most Read