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Cutting Through the Clutter

Cutting Through the Clutter

On 20 Jul 2018, in

Lately, the health care industry seems more and more cluttered with misinformation, confusing data, marketing bravado, and self-serving tag lines like “world-class care.” Add to that the current local impact of the Boone Hospital Trustees assessing a potential new operating partner (or going independent), and you can imagine how challenging it may be for a Mid-Missourian who’s trying to select the right health care provider for themselves and their family.

While the Trustees appropriately perform their due diligence in assessing the right path forward for Boone Hospital, and while administrators, community leaders, politicians, and business leaders assess the options and offer their opinions; Boone Hospital Center’s medical staff and team of 1,800 nurses, lab technicians, environmental services technicians, and more continue to perform their jobs, day in and day out, at an exceptionally high level.

In spite of the clutter in the environment, our Boone teammates stay focused on what’s most important – assuring our patients have exceptional clinical outcomes, a safe environment in which to receive care, and an excellent experience.

In the last two years, Boone Hospital Center and our medical staff have repeatedly been recognized for their dedication to quality, safety, and patient satisfaction. Some examples include:

  • For the third year in a row, Boone has been ranked as Mid- Missouri’s top hospital by U.S. News & World Report;

  • Boone is the only five-star-rated hospital in Mid-Missouri as determined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS);

  • Boone has been designated a Level 1 Stroke Center by the state of Missouri;

  • Boone earned the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart / American Stroke Association;

  • Boone has been designated a Level 1 STEMI (heart attack) Center by the state of Missouri;

  • Boone has been named one of America’s best hospitals for obstetrics by Women’s Choice Awards;

  • Boone has been recognized as the top hospital in the Midwest region for coronary bypass surgery and aortic valve replacement surgery by Consumer Reports.

Recently, the Missouri Hospital Association gathered actual cost and quality data from hospitals operating in the state of Missouri. You can find this information online at Compare the cost and quality results of Boone Hospital with any other hospital in the state. In particular, compare Boone’s cost and quality data to other hospital options you may have in Columbia, and you’ll find that overall the highest quality outcomes with the lowest cost are available at Boone Hospital Center.

Everyone wants value for their hard-earned money, and the products or services that exhibit the best value are those which combine the highest quality with the lowest cost.

In addition to providing the highest value health care services in the market, Boone Hospital Center contributes $2.4 million annually to Boone County to benefit its citizens. Beginning in 2007, Boone was required, as a result of a new accounting rule, to depreciate its capital expenditures over the number of years that remained in the Trustee-BJC Lease, as opposed to the standard depreciation practice of expensing the cost of the capital – such as our buildings or equipment – over the normal life expectancy of the asset. This is what’s known as “accelerated depreciation,” which currently accounts for approximately $6 million per year of additional or extra non-cash expense to Boone Hospital. The hospital’s annual operating expenses also include approximately $2.4 million of principal payment on bonds held by the Boone Hospital Trustees. Typically, bond principal payments would not impact net operating income, but as a result of the BJC lease, those payments are treated as an operating expense.

It is very rare, almost unheard of, that a hospital would incur these unique or unusual expenses, which collectively represent approximately $10.8 million of our annual total expenses. Yet, even with our annual commitment to the county citizens, the burden of accelerated depreciation, and bond principal payments, Boone Hospital has generated annual earnings between $10 million and $32 million over the last four years. Our goal is to be at a 10 percent annual earnings level, which equates to approximately $30 million.

Boone Hospital Center remains strong, both clinically and financially, but the clutter can make it difficult to discern the truth. I wanted to provide you this information so that as a patient, a family member, or a business leader, you can make informed decisions about health care that are based on facts and not hyperbole or marketing bravado.

Jim Sinek
Boone Hospital Center

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