Island Health closes service line, restructures leadership to offset losses

Anacortes, Wash.-based Island Health will end the year with a loss of about $5 million and aims to restructure its leadership team and close a service line to save money, reported Dec. 7

The hospital district's administration has used its cash reserves to cover the loss but plans to recduce spending to prevent losses from continuing into 2023, CEO Elise Cutter told the publication.

Island Health eliminated two mid-level leadership positions and is closing its sleep center, which employs 11 people, on Dec. 30. It is working to relocate the center's employees to other areas of the organization and will help connect patients to other sleep centers in the region.

The hospital district is expected to end the year with a $10 million operating loss — $108 million in operating revenues and $119 million in operating expenses, according to the report. Island Health has been challenged with rising costs from labor, supplies, drugs and utilities were a key factor while reimbursement has remained stagnant.

Island Health aims to increase revenues by more than 10 percent in 2023 to address the costs associated with labor shortages, price increases and low reimbursement. A key part of that plan is to recruit more physicians to bring in more patients and revenue from surgical and primary care.

"As hospitals statewide faced significant losses in 2022, it was important that we left no stone unturned in our budgeting process," CFO Julie Stewart said in a statement. "Our leaders have committed to a 2023 operational plan that realizes an $8 million turnaround from the prior year. In order to achieve our 2023 operating plan, we needed to make some difficult decisions and must pivot our time and resources to focus on growth opportunities that can be supported by the needs of our community."

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