When Prime Healthcare Services bought Providence Medical Center, Kansas City, Kan., and Saint John Hospital, Leavenworth, Kan., on April 1, 2013, no one could have predicted the difference just six months could make. "Prime's mission is to save hospitals, save jobs and save lives," says Jim Summersett, Regional CEO with Prime. "Today, the hospitals are on much sounder financial footing than they have been in some time, and we're very excited to be a part of that turnaround. Providence and Saint John are exceptional hospitals with terrific staffs. We're very happy to be a part of this community."
Following Prime's successful model of working closely with hospital medical staffs has been an important part of improving the hospitals' financial picture. "Prime focuses on revenue and expenses, and has spent time educating our local medical staff about the importance of documenting and coding appropriately so that the hospitals can improve their revenue flow," Summersett says.
In fact, the hospitals have gone from significant losses just 12 months ago, to being in the black today. "Saint John has broken even the last two months," says Dave Dulny, chief financial officer for the hospitals. "Providence is showing a $4.2 million profit through August. There are still a lot of opportunities to improve, but we are definitely making progress, and trending in the right direction."
Randy Nyp, Providence and Saint John CEO, says that in addition to making financial improvements, the hospitals are making strides in patient and employee satisfaction. "Prime has introduced some very sound management principles," Nyp says. "Both Providence and Saint John are among the top five in the Prime system for our patient satisfaction scores. Though we have had some staff reductions, our employee morale is much better. I think that's in part because the cloud has lifted—we have a clear vision of our mission and are focused on delivering excellent care to our patients."
As a testimony to improvements in patient care, inpatient admissions have increased 11% at Providence. At Saint John, the hospital's admissions are slightly down from a year ago, but have been offset by reductions in expenses. There are plans being developed at Saint John to increase service lines.
In its first 180 days of ownership, Prime also has invested in capital improvements, including replacing 50,000 square feet of roof on the Providence hospital buildings. Other improvements to the Providence campus include upgrades to parking lots and a new heating and air conditioning system for the east tower of the hospital's Medical Office Building.
At Saint John, upgrades have included a new fire safety system, electrical distribution system and improvements to the Senior Behavioral Health Center. Both hospitals will be receiving new exterior illuminated LED signage featuring the Prime logo. The Prime logo also will be added to exterior signage on other office buildings and clinics associated with the hospitals.
In the coming months, Providence and Saint John will continue to make improvements to electronic medical records systems, the medical clinics affiliated with the hospitals and recruit new physicians.
"Everyone is looking for the magic in how we have accomplished so much in such a short period of time," Nyp says, "But the magic is in the basics—working hard to take care of our patients, reducing expenses and improving our revenues. I am proud that my staff has pulled together to make this possible. I'm sure we will face more challenges as we move forward, like all health care providers, but we have a positive vision of the future and we are very grateful that Prime saw the potential of Providence and Saint John so that we can continue to serve the health care needs of the Wyandotte and Leavenworth communities."