Throughout the last century, Columbia Memorial Hospital has relied on community support to help fund excellence in healthcare. From the very first hospital to the move to the Exchange Street campus, donors have helped make progress possible.
Not-for-profit hospitals rely on philanthropic partnerships to be able to offer the health services and programs that meet immediate human needs. Offering the best care to patients is our commitment to the thousands of individuals who trust us every year with their lives.
The Hospital also carries the responsibility of providing a safety net throughout Clatsop County. In 2011, Columbia Memorial Hospital provided almost $2 million in charity care to the community. Over $3.4 million was written off for “bad debt”—the cost of services billed but not reimbursed.
The Hospital also has to save money, keeping funds in reserve to afford future needed services and programs, facility improvements and expansion, equipment purchases, facility replacement, IT systems—the list of operational costs is long! Much like we all have to save to take care of our homes and have enough funds to pay the bills—mortgage, utilities, insurance, etc. the Hospital has to save or “reserve” money as well.
CMH is well managed, which is a significant achievement for any hospital but especially for one that holds the rare status of being an independent, locally controlled provider.
This is an even greater achievement when you consider that to free up $1 for use in replacing equipment, maintaining facilities and retaining highly skilled staff, the Hospital has to earn $12.50. In other words, to purchase a $2 million piece of equipment, or fund a program for one year, the Hospital has to generate $25 million in revenue to be able save $2 million.
Why? Because hospitals can generate revenue three ways: through operations, borrowing and philanthropy. Raising money through operations has become increasingly difficult as hospitals have a severely limited ability to raise rates and cannot decline to provide most healthcare services. Yet, the rate of medical innovation is off the charts. It’s difficult in keep up when you consider that medical technology changes and advances about every 18 months!
If a hospital borrows money then it has to pay that money back—with interest. So, $1 million borrowed at 5% interest over 15 years will cost $1.4 million which equates to $28.4 million in operating revenue needed to repay the loan.
So, when philanthropic partners join in carrying out the mission, Columbia Memorial Hospital is able to achieve a standard of care that would otherwise not be possible. Our sincere and humble thanks to all those who step in and up to support your hospital—it makes all the difference to everyone who counts on Columbia Memorial for care!