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CRMC budget heads to city council

Cookeville Regional Medical Center continues to serve and invest in the community with numerous technology upgrades and additions as reflected in the 2021-2022 fiscal year budget. Everything we do is for the purpose of providing the best quality of care for the patients in our community and region. This year’s net income budget is $7,035,377 compared to projected FY 2021 net income of $6,021,779 which is a 16.8 percent increase.

This budget, which was approved by the Cookeville Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees April 22 and now heads to the Cookeville City Council, includes operating funds for the recently acquired Surgery Center on Whitney, the purchase of an additional surgical robot, a new mammography tracking system, replacement of the emergency department electronic medical records system and more.

“The facility is budgeting approximately $321 million in operational expense for next fiscal year which is an increase of approximately 4 percent,” said Tommye Rena Wells, CRMC Chief Financial Officer. “Major components of the facility’s expenses are salary, benefits and supplies, which make up approximately 76 percent of the expenses for the facility. All three of these categories show substantial increases over the projected current fiscal year primarily due to the addition of the CRMC Surgery Center on Whitney.”

CRMC purchased the center to expand its market share and the capability to do more surgeries. The acquisition adds 28.5 full-time equivalents with an estimated $2 million to the salary and benefits category.

“CRMC continues to invest in many physician practices in order to have adequate physician coverage to meet the health care needs of the patients in our community,” Wells said. “We realize this is a much-needed service for our community.”

Other large purchases are new patient beds, a new nurse call system, new lighting and delivery tables for labor and delivery operating rooms, nuclear medicine scanner and more which all contribute to the continuum of care. This year’s departmental capital budget is over $12 million, and the expansion and innovation budget is over $9 million.

The purchase of the additional daVinci robot will aid in surgical outcomes, decrease patient recovery times, lower length of stay in the hospital, and aid in physician recruitment, Wells said.

“The latest medical technology, like the robot, is also a necessary tool in recruitment of new physicians,” she said.

The new emergency department electronic medical reporting system will help decrease the length of stay of patients who are admitted through the emergency department and improve overall patient satisfaction.

Implementing a new mammography reporting system will improve patient satisfaction and increase the outpatient volumes. It will also help develop the Breast Center’s initiative to have a program that easily navigates the patient through breast care from beginning to end.

Funding for the renovation of one of the cardiac cath labs and future renovations of 5W and 4W patient rooms are also in the budget.

The amount of charity care given totals $5.3 million. The facility’s bad debt, an amount considered unrecoverable due to the patient not paying their bills, is $27.4 million. Despite a devasting tornado, COVID, and situations that have made it difficult for our patients to pay their bills, we continue to remain profitable.

“The budget process takes months to complete. Historical data and trends, along with involvement from each department director, Senior leadership, and Physicians are used to develop and finalize the operating and capital budgets” said Paul Korth, CRMC CEO. “We are constantly innovating, moving forward and investing in the community to give everyone access to world-class healthcare.”