PRMC shows $8.3M loss from coronavirus impact

Gale Rose
Pratt Tribune
Pratt Regional Medical Center in Pratt has taken a hit during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Pratt County Commissioners are close to setting their budget for next year. The public hearing on the budget will be at 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 17 in the commission room in the courthouse. The public is always invited to attend county commission meetings and observe safe health procedures. 

Pratt County Director of Public Health Darci Van Der Vyver updated the Pratt County Commissioners on the county COVID-19 status. As of Aug. 3, there was one active case with 30 test results pending. Van Der Vyver said she hopes the county can get the numbers going in the right direction. 

The COVID-19 crisis caused a substantial hit to Pratt Regional Medical Center revenue. When the hospital closed down, revenue from surgery took a big hit. Alan Waites, PRMC vice president for finances, said the hospital has lost $8.3 million in patient revenue in the last nine months. 

May revenues were down from 26 to 27 percent but the June numbers rebounded to just six percent below budget and July revenue was just about at budget.

For the 11 weeks ending on May 1, the hospital revenue was down 56 percent. 

But, the hospital received $5.5 million in Health and Human Services stimulation money that helped the revenue situation. Waites said he anticipates no more funding from congress. 

The Hospital will also receive $461,000 in SPARK funds. But SPARK funds have to go to COVID-19 related expenses only.

Dr. Robert Harris has arrived in Pratt and is now doing surgery and seeing patients.

The new Americare facility Grand Plains Skilled Nursing is from two to three weeks behind schedule on construction. The State Fire Marshal inspection has been completed and the hope is to have the building finished by the end of the fiscal year and have the employees moved and residents in place, said Susan Page, PRMC president and CEO.

Page was pleased with sales tax revenues with $26,800 above projections for the last reporting period. Sales tax revenue has done exceedingly well over the course of the entire addition and remodel project with $2.8 million in excess of the projected sales tax revenue for the total project. 

Progress continues in getting tax foreclosure properties cleared. Pratt County Counselor Tyson Eisenhauer said at the start of the tax foreclosure process, there were a total of 84 tracts. As of July 31, 29 of those tracts had been fully redeemed. There were 11 tracts removed from the list for various reasons before the law suit began, Eisenhauer said. 

There are 35 tracts that have paid nothing but have indicated in one form or another they intend to pay the taxes. There are an additional nine applications to redeem their property but they have not paid tax either. 

Eisenhauer said he gets several calls a week about the tax properties. 

Eisenhauer continues to work with Pratt Wind Energy on securing a water well to use for rural fire protection. The well was dug during construction of the NextEra Pratt Wind Energy farm. Eisenhauer said he is waiting for NextEra to execute a bill of sale for the well. 

In other commission action, the Commissioners approved $25,000 for the purchase of a 2016 Silverado from Doug Reh Chevrolet for Emergency Management.