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Meeker Memorial Hospital reports 21% profit margin in December; Increase in patient volume results in $500K profit

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Meeker Memorial Hospital reports 21% profit margin in December; Increase in patient volume results in $500K profit
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

LITCHFIELD -- A recent increase in patient numbers led to a big month for Meeker Memorial Hospital.

Mike Schramm, CEO of Meeker Memorial Hospital, reported to the Meeker County Board of Commissioners this week that the county's hospital made almost $500,000 in December -- a feat the hospital hasn't accomplished in quite a while.

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Schramm said in a phone interview Thursday that the hospital made a 21 percent profit margin in December.

"It was a real good month," Schramm said. "We just had a really good month as far as volume goes, both inpatient and outpatient volume."

Schramm said the hospital made more than $400,000 in unbudgeted revenue in December because of the increase in patient numbers.

"The volume for the month is really a key driver for what drove the profitability for the month of December," Schramm said. "We've been doing quite well all year long, pretty steady. This was just a bigger month than normal. We just had a lot of action, a lot of volume at the end of the year."

For 2008, Meeker Memorial Hospital reported an annual profit margin of 6.7 percent, Schramm said. According to the Minnesota Hospital Association Web site, a 5 percent profit margin is the minimum amount experts say a hospital requires in order to make needed investments in technology, buildings and staff.

In December, Schramm said the hospital saw a substantial increase in its inpatient care, but saw a similar increase in its radiology and rehabilitation departments along with its other forms of outpatient care. Schramm said the increased volume levels have also continued into January and February.

Schramm said the positive end to 2008 makes the hospital more comfortable with the upcoming opening of its building expansion. Meeker Memorial has been a construction site since November 2007 as work on a 75,000-square-foot expansion has progressed. Schramm said the expansion is scheduled for a summer completion date.

According to archives, the expansion will be followed by two more phases of the project that involve renovation of the original building and making the best use of its design.

"We're real pleased with our activity and volume and how we finished the year," Schramm said. "More importantly ... we're doing everything we can to make sure we're in real strong financial position heading into this expansion project."

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