Health Sciences North planning on balanced budget
HSN chair says hospital is meeting targets, 'but there isn't much margin left'
Health Sciences North in Sudbury, Ont., is planning on having a balanced budget, despite reports last week that the hospital would need to cut $13 million in expenses to break even.
"Management, through its rigorous budgeting process, always identifies expected revenues and expenses, and identified a gap at that time of $13 million," she said.
"They worked together and defined ways to address these gaps, and have submitted a plan that we've approved as a board of directors."
Hospital looking to reduce number of Alternative Level of Care patients
Everest said the plan includes finding ways to be more efficient and reduce wastesin the system, including serving clients through more outpatient centres.
This includes directing Alternative Level of Care (ALC) patients out of badly needed hospital beds. According to the HSN website, there are currently 96 ALC patients in acute care beds.
"This way here we avoid hospital admissions, we provide them with the appropriate treatment through another mechanism," Everest said. "It's a less costly model, but provides the same level, if not better, critical care."
Everest said they are also looking at not filling vacancies and retirements at the management level. No layoffs are planned at this point.
In June, HSN announced a $7 million dollar deficit for 2016-2017, which was attributed to overcapacity and an increase in ALC patients. Everest said the expenses in this year's budget reflect this ongoing issue.
"At the end of the day, that causes higher staffing and supply costs for the hospital," she said.
"We're meeting our targets in most cases, but there isn't much margin left."