University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics reduces deficit to $3.1M

Iowa City-based University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is on its way to financial improvement, according to The Gazette.

UIHC had a $7.2 million deficit for the month of July. But after posting a combined positive operating income of $4.1 million for August and September, the system's fiscal year-to-date deficit decreased to $3.1 million as of the end of September, financial results provided to the board of regents show.

"The month of July was not good due to a number of factors, including payer mix changes and a drop in surgeries performed. August and September are on budget and substantially helped to offset July financial performance," Interim Associate Vice President and CFO Doug True told Becker's via email.

The $3.1 million deficit is still below the $13.5 million in positive operating income the system posted for the same period in the year prior. However, with August and September operating income in the black, UIHC officials are optimistic they will see continued improvement throughout the fiscal year, according to The Gazette.

The system has documented the various financial challenges for fiscal year 2018, such as salary and non-salary expense inflation continuing to outpace increased payer reimbursement. 

Amid these challenges, UIHC has made a number of efforts to help rein in expenses, including cutting facility and staffing costs, according to the report. For instance, the system said it has hired more staff nurses to replace "travel" nurses who were hired for a temporary time period to address increasing patient volumes. Overall, the system's efforts have paid off, as its year-to-date operating expenses are $1.2 million under budget.

Moving forward, J. Brooks Jackson will replace Jean Robillard, who is stepping down as UIHC vice president for medical affairs and dean of the Carver College of Medicine, and the system will continue to examine possibly partnering with a larger organization, according to the report.


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