MOUNT VERNON — A work force reduction imposed earlier this year at Knox Community Hospital has been, according to Chief Executive Officer Bruce White, the difference between operating in the black and bleeding red. On the heels of a 2012 deficit, he says KCH will return to profitability this year. No further layoffs are anticipated, but implementation of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and a sluggish economy could signal more turbulence ahead.
KCH revenue in 2011-12 averaged $113.6 million, with a modest 2.8 percent year-to-year increase. Expenses jumped nearly 9 percent over the same period to $116 million in 2012. Main factors contributing to the substantial $10.1 million increase in expenses were payroll related: Growth of salaries and benefits by $7.5 million, related professional fees by $985,800 and purchased services by $593,000. Drug and supply costs were up $592,000, largely because of federal subsidy cutbacks. But a larger staff, fueled by purchase of private practices, was by far the dominant factor.
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