Cypress Health Region Balances Budget

Cypress Health Region Balances Budget Health & Wellness SouthWest Saskatchewan  Cypress Health Region   Tyler Bragg and Beth Vachon

The Cypress Regional Health Authority has approved a balanced operating budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year.

Cypress Health’s approved operating budget for 2013-14 will result in a planned balance of revenues and expenditures totaling $128.7 million.

That’s an increase of of $3.3 million or 2.6% on the previous year.

{mp3}allsenmay30a{/mp3}Larry Allsen presents the budget”We know that health care in itself is not sustainable at the rate we’re going,”said Executive Director of Finance, Larry Allsen. “With the Lean methodology that we’re implementing now, we’re hoping that will flatten the cost curve.”

“When people say just throw more money, put more people, put more resources in… maybe we have the right amount of resources, they’re just not in the right places.”

The Health Region stated the majority of the increase is related to increases in compensation-related expenses for health providers resulting from new provincial initiatives.

“With an annual budget of this size, it is vitally important that we closely monitor our actual versus budgeted amounts throughout the year,” said Tyler Bragg, Chairperson of the Cypress Regional Health Authority. “This tremendous investment in health care will equate to spending $352,565 every day on program and service delivery. Our health team will focus on the provision of high quality services to our patients and will emphasize safety for all staff, patients, and general public.”

Provincial funding accounts for 91.6% of the total operating revenue for the health region’s budget. The remainder of operating revenue will be realized from long term care and home care fees, third party charges, and other miscellaneous recoveries.

The health region will spend 81% (or $104.1 million) of its overall budget on salaries and benefits for its 1,700 employees and medical services remuneration.

They’re found some efficiencies through a relatively new program.

{mp3}allsenmay30{/mp3}Larry Allsen media scrum”We have in the last four years developped a program that has helped us balance our budget,” Allsen said. “Cypress Health Employee Staffing Strategies, with the help from our staff and managers, this has saved us a lot of money, conservatively $3.5 million over the last five years and probably more like $4.5 million to $5 million.”

The strategies focus on how to cut down on sick days and overtime.

A summary of the balanced operating budget by expenditure pool includes:

39% ($49.6 million) for Inpatient and Resident Services
17% ($21.3 million) for Community Health Services 18% ($22.7 million) for Support Services
10% ($12.3 million) for Diagnostic and Therapeutic Services
11% ($13.8 million) for Physician Related Expenses for contracted services
5% ($6.7 million) for Program Support
2% ($2.4 million) for Ambulatory Care

The Health Region had a $1.3 million dollar shortfall when they first approached the budget. They had to utilize vacancy managements, the elimination of some vacant positions, some non salary savings and other efficiencies to reach a balanced budget.

The plan allows for ongoing support of the province’s Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative, development of a Collaborative Emergency Centre model of care for some communities, Primary Health Care redesign efforts, ongoing enhancement of colonoscopy services, and dental health preventative efforts.

{mp3}vachonmay30{/mp3}Beth Vachon media scrum”We have been able to address a number of strategic priorities due to targeted funding from the Ministry of Health and other partners, along with the commitment of our dedicated staff members in achieving targeted savings and efficiencies,” commented Beth Vachon, Cypress Health’s Chief Executive Officer. “We will continue to monitor our fiscal ability to invest in additional identified staffing priorities as we are able to do so.”

Vachon added that the achievement of a balanced operating budget is only one phase of the overall financial strategy for the health region.

“While we continue to focus on putting the patients first in everything we do, we must also continue to generate efficiencies to invest in capital infrastructure and equipment, improve our working capital, and invest in best care practices where possible. Our attention to long-term program and service sustainability is a key element of our ongoing planning processes.”

The 2013-14 operational budget was approved at the Cypress Regional Health Authority’s regular monthly meeting on May 30th.

It will be forwarded to the Minister of Health for the Ministry’s review and formal approval.

via Local News

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