(Iron Mountain - December 28, 2017) - Dickinson County Healthcare System
is reporting record losses for the year, expected to total well over 11 million
dollars, far surpassing the two million dollar loss which had been anticipated.
These losses are far greater than can be sustained. Dickinson County
Commissioner Joe Stevens (R-Dist 11) said on Tuesday evening, "I think we all
know where this is going to end up. It's not a pretty picture."
current financial condition of the system creates new urgency in getting the
negotiations underway which will result in the system being taken over by Bellin
Officials of the DCHS blame decreases in Medicare and
Medicaid payments as the primary reason for the losses, saying that at the
current rate of reimbursement, the hospital is losing money on a large
percentage of the procedures performed. Further adding to the problem is low
rates of reimbursement set by Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
Adding to the
hospital's financial woes has been an ever-increasing loss in out-patient
clients to the Bellin Health Clinic which operates on the site of the former
Dickinson County Memorial Hospital. Many of those with the financial wherewithal
to travel to and from Green Bay have chosen to use the Bellin system, in many
cases leaving DCHS to deal with the less fortunate and less able to pay. Bellin
claims to have treated more than 13,000 patients at their Woodward Avenue clinic
The Board of Directors of DCHS and the County Board of
Commissioners have entered into an initial agreement with Bellin, which will
allow for negotiations for an eventual take-over of the system by the Green Bay
based health system. While formal negotiations have not yet begun, the transfer
of assets is expected to take place in mid-2018.
The transfer of assets
cannot take place without the approval of the Dickinson County Board of
Commissioners. County Controller Brian Bousley has been assigned the duty of
negotiating on behalf of the County. Those negotiations are expected to begin
very early in the new year.
Bellin claims that it will improve services
at the local facility, including new capital investments. There has been no
clear explanation given as to how that can be accomplished without major
increases in charges for services.
While the new entity is expected to
include a local board of some type, it's role will likely be advisory only, as
Bellin is a private non-profit organization, answerable only to it's own board