Sorensen: Hospital in sound fiscal condition despite Physician Clinic struggles

Regional West Medical Center President Todd Sorensen says the hospital is in sound fiscal condition despite the expected financial struggles of the newly integrated Regional West Physicians Clinic.

The clinic, established in 2008, has been operating in the red and according to financial documents obtained by KNEB News, lost $10 million in 2010. That was reduced to a loss of $2 million for the clinic due to an $8 million contribution from the hospital.

In an exclusive interview with KNEB News Sorensen said it is not unusual for physician clinics to lose money, and it is also not unusual for the hospital side, as is the case locally, to make a large enough profit to balance the overall spread sheet. Sorensen admits in 2012, however, the overall balance sheet did show a minus. Sorensen says they have and they are working on correcting it.

Sorenson says consultants will come in this year to suggest efficiencies in the physicians clinic to help the bottom line. Sorensen says the hospital board is aware of the situation.

Sorensen says the physicians clinic will probably never make money due to several factors, including the need to pay at least market salary to bring physicians in to Scottsbluff and the fact much of the revenue is coming from Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements that are less that what is paid by commercial insurance. The hospital has added 24 physicians since the Clinic started.

But Sorensen says rumors that the hospital is up for sale are not true and the organization is still a "going concern". But he says the the hospital may be looking at partnerships and other changes in the future to make sure they remain a strong entity.

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