By Jan Rahn
With the goal of being able to serve the community and its patients for many years to come, the Perkins County Hospital Board of Directors has adopted a new fiscal year budget of $21.3 million.
The new fiscal year budget was approved on Tuesday, Sept. 18.
The tax request in the newly adopted 2012-2013 budget amounts to $204,370 with the tax rate of .00269 per $100 of valuation.
“This tax rate has not changed over the past 10 years,” said Chief Executive Officer Pam Holm. “Last year’s tax asking was $183,505. One thing that we are very proud of is that for the new building project we are not asking for any more tax monies.”
New equipment for the lab, laundry, hospital, nursing home, assisted living, maintenance and radiology is included in the capital portion of the budget, which accounts for approximately $1.5 million.
Holm said a large portion remains for the electronic medical records implementation and the new MRI scanning unit.
Holm said the new electronic medical record system, mandated by the government, must be in place and phase one attested by 2012, and it must be completely finished by 2014.
The MRI scanning unit was introduced the end of July as a way to provide the customers of Perkins County Health Services a medical modality that is greatly used and saves patients travel time, said Holm.
“To date, we have not heard anything but wonderful comments about the machine and the service that it provides,” she said. “That is PCHS’ goal—to improve the quality of care our patients receive and provide it right here at home.”
Holm said currently PCHS has five equipment purchases/leases in which the total principal owed is $2.5 million. This includes the generator which was installed in 2010, the x-ray CR arm machine, cardiac monitor, clinic addition and MRI lease.
Explaining the operational budget for the 2012-2013 year, Holm said the $3 million figure pays for salaries, benefits, supplies, contract/leases and small equipment purchases.
“The directors are trying to hold down expenses, and we have to be very diligent with our spending as we are looking toward other projects to keep improving the way we deliver our medical services,” said Holm.
The new building addition weighs heavily on the directors’ minds when they look at their expenditures, she said.
“We have been collaborating on this building addition for as long as four years with many drawings being explored,” said Holm. “We feel we have selected the best plan for patient flow and patient care possible.”
The current medical facility is 42 years old.
“Even though it has had excellent maintenance, the federal and state regulations have surpassed the building,” commented Holm. “We are also looking at remodeling some rooms in the nursing home over a five year span to make it more modern and conform to the federal and state regulations. We have worked on the hallways and now it is time to work on the rooms themselves.”