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University Hospital to expand orthopedics

Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 7:44 PM
Last updated Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 1:37 AM
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University Hospital will spend nearly $9 million to gut and renovate a floor of the hospital to accommodate its growing orthopedics and spinal surgery practices, officials said.


Tom Corwin
Health Reporter
E-mail | 706-823-3213

University’s boards approved spending $8.82 million to completely redo the ninth floor of the hospital and move orthopedics and spinal surgery patients there. The Neuro Intensive Care Unit that had been on that floor will move to a new home on the fifth floor and expand from 10 to 15 beds.

Space is limited for those surgery patients in their current home on the 10th floor, said Lynda Watts, the vice president of patient care services. The rooms are just too cramped, said Reyne Gallup, the director of medical/surgical nursing services.

“Patients have to turn almost to the side to get in the bathroom,” she said. “You have to actually move furniture out of the room to be able to get the patients out of the bed sometimes in the smaller rooms.”

It also makes it harder to get patients back up after surgery, Gallup said.

“We try our best to get the patients up the day of surgery,” she said. “More and more, we’re walking them earlier, like 30 minutes after they get to the floor.”

That helps patients recover better and be able to head home sooner, Gallup said.

The new rooms will also have an area to accommodate family, which is part of better treatment, she said.

“The families can become more integral coaches for them in their recovery,” Gallup said.

The new floor will accommodate a rehabilitation gym that the current floor could not, Watts said.

Not only are those services growing but they are also getting recognition, University CEO Jim Davis said. Orthopedics, joint replacement and spine surgery programs at University were included in the Healthgrades Top 100 of the most highly rated programs in the country, he said.

University’s boards on Thursday heard a positive year-end financial report that found, with non-operating and investment income added in, Univer­sity cleared about $40 million last year, not counting about $39 million in depreciation, Chief Financial Officer Dave Belkoski said.

“We closed ’13 on a good note,” he said.

University also spent $59.5 million in capital expenditures last year, including $30 million to build a replacement hospital for McDuffie County that is scheduled to open at year’s end, Davis said.

“That’s why we make money, to reinvest right here,” he said.

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member
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member 02/27/14 - 11:53 pm
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Riverman1
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Riverman1 02/28/14 - 05:53 am
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A Gold Mine

"University’s boards on Thursday heard a positive year-end financial report that found, with non-operating and investment income added in, Univer­sity cleared about $40 million last year, not counting about $39 million in depreciation, Chief Financial Officer Dave Belkoski said."

I keep telling y'all hospitals are gold mines.

Gardencity1
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Gardencity1 02/28/14 - 07:58 am
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Does anyone know accounting?

So after depreciation the hospital made $1 million dollars. Why make it sound like they had a windfall year? They will book a $1 m profit. This is a little misleading AC.

corgimom
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corgimom 02/28/14 - 09:25 am
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Yes, I know accounting.

Yes, I know accounting.

Depreciation is a non-cash expense, yes, they made $40 million, not $1 million.

You exclude non-cash items like depreciation and goodwill and amortization to find out what the true profits of an organization is.

Depreciation is for tax purposes and to avoid overstating the worth of assets on a balance sheet, but doesn't reflect operations.

Marinerman1
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Marinerman1 02/28/14 - 09:45 am
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Sorry Riverman1

The only hospital around here that actually "makes money" is Doctor's, since they are the only "for profit" facility. With reduced reimbursements and the new Georgia State 'hospital bed tax', it is pretty hard to make ends meet, much less, "make money". If you noted in the article, like most of us, the investments are what is keeping things floating just a little.

seenitB4
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seenitB4 02/28/14 - 09:59 am
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I agree Riverman..

I keep telling y'all hospitals are gold mines.

Riverman1
113782
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Riverman1 02/28/14 - 12:16 pm
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Marinerman, tell us about the

Marinerman, tell us about the University "investment" income.

Marinerman1
7575
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Marinerman1 02/28/14 - 01:25 pm
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Investments

I read it in the article. It said "with non-operating and investment income added in". That would lead me to believe that like most of us, hospitals have "investments" that generate income. With the exception of Doctor's, income gets put back into the "entity". In the case of Doctor's, the income goes to the HCA stockholders in the form of dividends.

Tom Corwin
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Tom Corwin 02/28/14 - 02:39 pm
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Gardencity1

As the article says, it is about $40 million ($40.5 to be exact) not counting $39 million in depreciation, meaning $40 million plus $39 million, which is about $80 million in positive cash flow.

Riverman, University actually lost money in its income from operations, $4.5 million, but made it up with investment income. Part of its loss was due to some very large expenditures last year in installing a new IT system that won't show up again this year. Hospitals all over are getting hit with cuts and reductions in reimbursement - University lost $17 milion last year from Medicare and other federal cuts - so I think before you characterize them as gold mines you need to take another look.

Esctab
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Esctab 02/28/14 - 04:06 pm
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Not so sure about the gold

I don't think I would characterize hospitals as gold mines either. Besides that, whatever "gold" there may be in large part came from us to begin with - in the form of ever increasing insurance premiums, taxes, etc.

seenitB4
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seenitB4 02/28/14 - 05:37 pm
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Could be though

If built in right area & you didn't have low income dragging it down....there are MANY reasons for building in Columbia county.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 02/28/14 - 06:54 pm
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@Tom Corwin

Actually, one time costs are exempt under GAAP. I know of a county owned hospital in a rural SC county that has a profit of $20 million. University makes sure salaries to the high rollers take most of the profit down to the bone is the truth of the matter that you may or may not know. I understand Medicare cuts hit hospitals, but they still make tens of millions. University encourages this theme that they need contributions and so on.

Do you really believe they would be begging to open another hospital in Columbia County if they couldn’t make tens of millions? Hospitals are not hurting as far as cash coming in. It’s paying their chosen people that’s keeps things close. Would a private hospital management company jump at the chance to take over University?

GR Hospital, or whatever the heck it's called, also made millions this year. We also have to assume Doctors makes a good profit or they wouldn’t be here. Is University managed so poorly in comparison to the other hospitals?

By the way, I asked this before, what type investing has University done and with what funds?

Gardencity1
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Gardencity1 02/28/14 - 06:55 pm
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Thanks Mr. Corwin

Thanks for the clarification. I also find it hard to call them gold mines. Columbia county isn't all affluent people with insurance. Appling and Grovetown, as well as parts of Evans have their share of working people with little or no insurance. The free or reduced lunch program is a good measure of this in a community. According to a few teachers I know in the county this number has been on the rise over the past few years with the downturn in the economy. When will a decision be made about a hospital?

Tom Corwin
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Tom Corwin 02/28/14 - 07:40 pm
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Gardencity1

It is hard to say for sure if they will make a decision then but the Columbia County Commission will take it up at its March 18 meeting, barring some unusual event in between. There will be another work session next week so hopefully we will have a better idea of how close they are to choosing then. After that comes the hard part of pulling the CON application together. First you have to file a notice that you are going to apply and then put the application in within 30 days, I am told, and then there is a period of a few months for a decision. There will also likely to be appeals filed if the decision is favorable so you are looking at several months I think.
Your point about Columbia County's changing demographics is definitely worth exploring.

Riverman, I would love to know which little county-owned rural hospital in South Carolina is making $20 million a year. My guess is they are not still doing that well. I am not sure what contributions you are saying University is trying to solicit but they have not received county funding for many years.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 02/28/14 - 07:51 pm
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Tom, I'll try to answer your

Tom, I'll try to answer your specific questions. The University Foundation continually solicits donations for various capital projects. Have you investigated what some of the specialists who either work for or do surgical cases at University are being paid? Let's put that out in the open.

I keep asking what investments do they have and where did THAT money come from? I'd love to see their financial statements.

I completely understand skilled physicians should be well compensated, but I think anything over $400,000 a year is out of line. I know at one time many made 800-900.

The SC hospital I'm referring to is Orangeburg Regional Medical Center. I don't think it's unique. It's a very poor area yet turns a good profit for Orangeburg and Calhoun Counties with their small, poor populations. My info is a few years old, but I'll guess they are still making a good profit or they would sell the hospital to a private company. They have been offered $100 million.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 02/28/14 - 08:28 pm
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Tom, updating the info on

Tom, updating the info on Orangeburg Reg., they are now in a leasing agreement with a management company and the company pays them $12 million per year is what I'm told. They were offered a few years ago $200 million for the hospital by a private concern.

member
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member 02/28/14 - 11:56 pm
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As a non profit, UH IRS filings are viewable online

2011 would be the most recent online, but it will show you the amount of Investments. With the year we saw in the stock market, it is easy to see where that non operating income came from in 2013. It's form 990 and you can look them up for all non profits. most of the investments are in publicly traded stocks just like everyone else does. Even though UH proposal requires a CC investment, I think it is most likely the best option to get the CON.

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