Gifford’s Record of Success Continues for 14th Straight Year

Randolph hospital ‘makes’ budget, operating margin

meeting budget and marginFor a 14th consecutive year, Gifford Medical Center in Randolph has completed its fiscal year “in the black” and on budget.

Gifford Administrator Joseph Woodin made the announcement to staff on Friday following a detailed auditor’s review of the hospital’s 2013 fiscal year finances. The fiscal year ended Oct. 31.

Specifically, the medical center achieved both its state-approved budget and operating margin. An operating margin is the money the medical center makes above expenses – usually by 2 to 3 percent – to reinvest in programs, staff and facilities.

Achieving the operating margin can be an indicator of an organization’s success. “No margin, no mission” is a saying often used within non-profits. Gifford has made both its budget and margin each of the last 14 years – a major feat among Vermont hospitals.

“This news is exciting for Gifford and for the community,” said Woodin. “It is an indicator of Gifford’s health as a medical center, community organization and employer. Primarily it means we’re stable, and we’re able to provide consistent care and services without facing cuts and uncertainty.” The achievement is especially remarkable within the current economic climate and amid so many changes in health care, hospital officials also noted.
The news comes despite record shortfalls in revenue for Vermont hospitals, including Gifford.

Woodin noted the hospital was able to make up for revenue shortfalls by employees’ efforts to manage expenses and support through federal programs like 340B, a drug pricing program that in part generates revenues when Gifford patients fill non-generic, non-narcotic prescriptions at participating pharmacies. Revenues through the program grew in 2013 when Rite Aid pharmacies joined.

Participation in the 340B program is an example of Gifford’s budgeting efforts, forethought and creativity. Another such example was announced earlier this month when Gifford was named a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). Gifford is just the third medical facility in the nation to be both a Critical Access Hospital and FQHC. The statuses come with enhanced services for the community, including mental and dental health services, and some enhanced reimbursements for Gifford.

The budget and FQHC announcements round out a stellar year for the Randolph medical center. It also earned all permits necessary to move forward with the construction of a senior living community and private inpatient hospital rooms.

The first phase of that project, a new nursing home in Randolph Center, is scheduled to start in the spring.

“It’s almost overwhelming,” said Woodin, “but in a good way. We have a lot of really good work to do.”

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