Turn around time
17 Jun 2019
When Leah Glasgo took over as president and CEO of UnityPoint Health — Trinity Regional Medical Center, she was immediately confronted with financial challenges.
In 2018, the Fort Dodge hospital ended the year with a $6.8 million deficit, she said. Glasgo assumed her new role with UnityPoint in late January.
In the months since that time, Glasgo and hospital administration have worked to find solutions to help turn that deficit around and increase efficiency.
One of the reasons for the shortfall, according to Glasgo, is that during the last five years, reimbursement has increased slightly and expenses have increased by more than 3 percent.
“That trajectory does not match up and it turns our bottom line to a negative line,” Glasgo said.
She said that trend is not exclusive to Fort Dodge.
“This is happening all over the country,” Glasgo said. “But because we have a higher Medicaid and Medicare population, we are impacted more significantly.”
About 71 percent of Webster County is made up of Medicaid or Medicare patients, according to Shannon McQuillen, vice president of marketing and community relations.
“With that, our team has gotten right to work and created some mitigation strategies to help us right-size or transform the organization,” Glasgo said.
One of those strategies is the hospital’s participation in what’s called a provider-based Rural Health Clinic program.
“It’s a program from Medicare where we are able to, because of the size of our organization, we are able to receive cost-based reimbursement in our family practice clinic,” Glasgo said.
The hospital is eligible because of the number of Medicaid and Medicare patients it cares for.
Glasgo said any place where the hospital has family practice clinics, a cost report is submitted through a government-run program.
Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services oversees the program.