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Vidant Health 2015 operational plan works to deliver an integrated system of care

August 27, 2014 by Beth Anne Atkins

 GREENVILLE—As Vidant Health continues to be challenged by significant reductions in government reimbursements due to the Affordable Care Act, its Board of Directors approved the fiscal year 2015 operational plan today that provides the strategic direction and financial resources needed to guide and fund the health system during the next year. 

The health care system, which has seen significant reductions to the amounts reimbursed by both Medicare and Medicaid, is predicting an operating margin of less than half of what it was budgeted in 2014. 

Art Keeney, board chairman, thanked the board committees for their direction and contributions over the past several months in bringing together an operational plan and budget that “focuses on clinical effectiveness, healthy people and communities, and affordable care.” 

Keeney also emphasized that “Vidant Health remains a healthy organization in an extremely challenging industry that is moving very quickly from payment that is paid per visit or procedure to payment-for- value. This budget provides the funding necessary to continue Vidant’s position as the highest-valued health care system throughout Eastern Carolina.

The Vidant Health budget projects total operating and non-operating revenues of $1.574 billion, operating and non-operating expenses of $1.529 billion, excess-of-revenues over expenses of $44.6 million and an operating margin of 1.8 percent, which is less than half of what was budgeted in 2014. Any margin will be reinvested back into facilities, new services, equipment and system employees. 

Vidant Health will focus capital reinvestment (more than $128.3 million in the next year) on the beginning of a new cancer center, information systems, diagnostic services, normal equipment replacement and much-needed upgrades in the core infrastructure of the system’s hospitals. If further reductions in reimbursement occur, the ability to fund these capital requirements will be at risk.

The system estimates providing care to 63,300 inpatients, 1,189,000 combined emergency department and outpatients visits, perform 45,000 surgeries and deliver 6,100 babies during the next fiscal year.

Dr. Marcus Albernaz, finance committee chairman, explained the budget emphasizes building on the high-quality patient care already provided throughout the system and recognizing the importance of the system’s 10,572 full-time-equivalent employees. The budget funds salaries and benefits of $869 million for the system’s employees. He further indicated that Vidant Health is moving toward a more integrated system of care versus a collection of individual sites to provide the highest-quality care in the most cost-effective setting. 

Leaders will continue to focus on the most effective and efficient way to provide health care in eastern North Carolina by assessing all positions when they become vacant and looking at streamlining processes. 

Vidant Health includes Vidant Medical Center, Vidant Beaufort Hospital in Washington, Vidant Bertie Hospital in Windsor, Vidant Chowan Hospital in Edenton, Vidant Duplin Hospital in Kenansville, Vidant Edgecombe Hospital in Tarboro, Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital in Ahoskie, and The Outer Banks Hospital at Nags Head, where it is a 60 percent owner. The Outer Banks Hospital board will adopt its budget separately.

Vidant Health also includes Vidant Wellness, Home Health and Hospice, Vidant Medical Group, and is affiliated with the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.
 
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