DCHS finances improve


News Editor

IRON MOUNTAIN – Dickinson County Healthcare System posted one of its most profitable months of the year in November, slicing its year-to-date loss in operations by more than a third.

The Board of Trustees reviewed a report Thursday showing operating income in November of $467,133, which reduced the year-to-date loss in operations to $804,996.

November’s performance continued a strong showing in the final quarter of 2013, following a gain of $141,825 in October.

A preliminary review of 2013 shows that hospital utilization was up slightly from a year ago, said John Schon, DCHS administrator. However, net revenues lagged because of weak reimbursements from insurers, he said.

For November, DCHS had operating revenue of nearly $7.85 million and expenses of nearly $7.38 million.

Spurred by financial challenges, the hospital launched an effort several months ago to seek a long-term regional health care partner. That process is expected to take the better part of six months to a year before a recommendation is offered.

The board, in other action, received a report of patient activity for November as follows:

– Cared for 317 inpatients.

– Cared for 13,607 patients in the outpatient hospital setting (treatments, tests, therapies, procedures, etc.), including the emergency department.

– Cared for 1,136 patients in the emergency department.

– Cared for 8,734 patients in physician offices.

– Uncompensated care (bad debt and charity) for the month totaled $762,952.

William Edberg will continue as chairman of the Board of Trustees, following his re-election to the position Thursday. Dick Berlinski serves as vice chairman and Sally Blom as secretary.

Other members of the board are Dale Ward, Steve Zurcher, Alice Lemieux, Adam St. John, Jeff Campbell and Margaret Minerick.

Tamara Juul, director of the Dickinson County Hospital Foundation, said the second annual BOSS Snowplow Race For a Cure, held at Norway Speedway in August, raised $8,000 to assist local cancer patients.

Jim Anderson’s email address is