“It was better than we expected”
By Katherine Nettles
In a quarterly update to the Gunnison County commissioners, Gunnison Valley Hospital CEO Rob Santilli and hospital board member Don Haver briefly reviewed the hospital’s overall losses and its takeaways from the coronavirus response. They also reviewed some positive changes coming to the hospital’s emergency department.
Mark VanderVeer, the hospital’s chief financial officer, said the hospital has lost about $915,000 in revenue to date, after CARES relief funds were factored in. GVH lost about $1.5 million in revenue in April and about $2.1 million in a span of two months during the initial COVID-19 outbreak.
“This right now seems to be our biggest impact from COVID,” VanderVeer said. “As dismal as it looks, it was better than we expected because we saw revenue come in around 49 percent when we were concerned it might be more like 40 percent.”
VanderVeer said there was never a concern that the hospital would not be able to continue operations.
“Many times when you go through a situation like this, you learn more about yourself, the people around you and the people in your organization,” said Santilli.
The hospital system reported it has received $9.8 million in CARES relief fund and related grants. These funds are to offset lost revenue, COVID expenses and payroll costs related to March through June 2020.
“May has about 79 percent of projected revenue and June is around 90 percent. So, much better,” said VanderVeer. “We had projected as low as 50 percent for both those months.”
GVH representatives also reported that the 2019 audit of financials went well and no “clean-up” was required. Santilli said they were compared to all of the auditor’s (CLA) critical care facilities and placed in their top 35 Colorado hospitals. “We are running in the top 10 percent of the gold standard,” he said.
Commissioner Jonathan Houck cited the “Great work and stability the hospital has brought to the community.”
Santilli in turn said it is all a result of many different things, such as retooling the former senior center to create a sort of senior services campus. Also, he credited capitalizing on services such as physicians and specialists, and adding a pediatrician.
Emergency department physician Gary Whitt will start full-time at the hospital on July 1, bringing the count to four full-time emergency department physicians at the Level 4 certified trauma center. “That is somewhat of a change that will really guide and direct change in the future,” said Santilli.