The 2022 budget for Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center projects 9 percent growth in volume with an associated 7.4 percent increase in patient care staff areas. 

Lesley Fagerberg, HRRMC vice president of fiscal services, presented the 2022 budget proposal to the Salida Hospital District board of directors at its Tuesday meeting.

Areas expected to show growth include physician clinics, surgery and endoscopy, imaging, infusion and laboratory/pathology.

A risk assessment of the coming year states that factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic and continued staffing shortages may adversely impact actual performance to the budget.

Some of those factors include a continued chronic respiratory therapist shortage, leaving up to $9.5 million outpatient gross revenue potentially at risk.

The budget includes funds for 43 new employee or 35 full-time-equivalent positions in the next year.

It is expected many of those positions will be to fill currently vacant positions due to a staffing shortage over the past year.

Total assessed valuation from Chaffee, Fremont and Saguache counties is projected to be $652,504,187, an increase of 20.9 over the prior year.

Tax revenue of $1,086,528 or 0.4 percent of total gross revenue and a tax levy of 1.665 mills, a decrease of 11 percent over prior year, is expected.

Projected net revenue for 2022 is $121.5 million or about 48.8 percent of projected gross revenue of $249.1 million.

Other deductions from revenue include monies not paid by Medicare, Medicaid and other insurances at 49 percent.

About 1.5 percent, or $3,625,440, of the gross revenue budget is set aside for coverage of bad debts.

Money set aside for charity care accounts for 0.7 percent or $1,860,000. 

Under net revenue the largest expenditure in the HRRMC 2022 budget is for salaries at 37 percent, followed by supplies at 15.8 percent and employee benefits at 13.9 percent. 

Resolutions adopting the budget, appropriating sums of money and setting the mill levy were unanimously approved by the board of directors.

In the monthly finance reports Fagerberg said October was on the slower side, down 24 percent in patient revenue.

HRRMC CEO Bob Morasko announced the departure of Peter Edis, HRRMC vice president of business development,

Edis has accepted a CEO position in North Dakota and will leave HRRMC Dec. 24. His duties will be overseen by an interim staff while the hospital searches for a replacement.

Morasko also commended staff at HRRMC for their response to staff shortages and the recent increase in COVID-19 related responses.

Morasko also lauded the success of the hospital’s certified medical assistant training program earlier in the year, which has resulted in several new CMAs at the hospital.

Directors unanimously approved a capital request to fund a proposed remodel of the hospital’s pharmacy to comply with current regulations.

The remodel comes in response to regulatory recommendations to upgrade the pharmacy area.

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