CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Charleston Area Medical Center officials are having to re-evaluate next year's budget because of higher expenses and less revenue than expected this year, the hospital's chief financial officer said Wednesday.
"The economy and things have shifted around and we have had to evaluate our budget plan for next year," Larry Hudson said following a meeting of the CAMC board. "We determined that we're a little bit short."
The hospital is about $8 million, or 20 percent, short of what it should be, Hudson said.
Part of the problem is a national trend of fewer hospital admissions, Hudson said.
"Across the U.S., admissions are down 2, 3 or 4 percent depending on your facility," Hudson said. "For us, year to date our admissions are down about 2 percent."
Hudson said the hospital is having to make changes to the budget to be able to meet next year's budget. They are trying to find ways to perform work better and more economically, he said.
"[We are] just looking at ways of realigning for example [how we] buy supplies or how we utilize supplies, how we deliver care," Hudson said. "We can do it more economically so that care is maintained but expenses are reduced."
Also at the meeting, the hospital board agreed to go forward with a paperless board meeting system. The board had been on a six-month trial period with Directors Desk, a company that provides an electronic program where members can access meeting minutes, committee reports and agendas each month. The trial ends in January. Hudson said the system will cost no more than $20,000 a year.
In other business, Dale Wood, chief quality officer for CAMC, said a quality improvement project at the hospital is improving patient outcomes. The Transforming Care Together program is modeled after a similar system at Toyota, he said.
"It's the creation of a new system for how you run the hospital," Wood said.
The program has helped the hospital lower the occurrences of ventilator-associated pneumonia, catheter-associated urinary tract infections and of hyperthermia in babies on the neo-natal intensive care unit, among other things, Wood said.
Reach Lori Kersey at lori.ker...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.