Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Pub's perspective on WMC being voted not tax-exempt

For those who want to start screaming at City Council and the new commissioner of the revenue, do some research and learn more about VHS and how profitable an organization they have been over the last 10 years.

But don’t be misled here, for-profit hospitals that pay taxes, has charity care too, bad debt and also gives back to respective local communities as well that they serve.

Wonder why Mr. Whitworth Jr. did not share nor the community benefit chart in The Winchester Star on September 24th display the excess of revenue over expenses figures for 2005-2009 last Thursday during the press conference when they discussed the VHS's 2009 Community Benefit?  To be more precise, profit/loss figures.

Based on information shared by a VHS official in December of 2009, Valley Health System's five year profit total for years 2004-2008 was a little over $218.6 million.

An internet poster on WincStar’s website Tuesday made a comment that the staff at WMC has not received at least a cost-of-living increase since 2007. Wonder if this is true?

Reference  and post#2 which is below:

Well...for all those in favor of this...just remember it when you, your friend, neighbor or family member don't qualify for a write off or reduction, or there IS an increase in the rates....WMC is just like every other buisness...budget is already set for the year...AND they are behind budget...just like alot of businessess...

Are you aware staff have not had a cost of living raise since 2007? How many of you, in favor of this have rec'd a raise? Many positions have been the next time you are a patient and feel like your nurse, aide or Dr aren't giving you enough attention...remember, they have to work HARDER just to maintain the income they have now....


The “Winchester Medical Center” has been very profitable for years 2001-2007 where their profits increased 460% but dropped off in 2008.

* 2001 - $11.8 million (Quad State Biz Journal)
* 2002 - ?
* 2003 - ?
* 2004 - ?
* 2005 - $54,346,679 (per IRS990)
* 2006 - $57,422,678 (per IRS990)
* 2007 - $66,617,961 (per IRS990)
* 2008 - $ 9,500,911 (per IRS990)
* 2009 - ?

Based on those figures, can anyone tell us why the staff at WMC has not received at least a cost-of-living increase since 2007 according to an individual who posted on WincStar’s website on Tuesday (if those comments are factual by tiredmom)?

For the record, The Pub has advocated that the nurses and blue collar workers are under compensated. Reference this link dated October 14, 2009 ...

A huge problem for the City of Winchester is that two of the top 5 employers are non-profit (VHS & SU) and that is not a good thing for the tax-base.

The perception is that previous city councils did not have a denied stamp when tax exempt applications came across the table. This present council group has a difficult task of cleaning it up and trying to get a solid tax base again before any further decisions are made about raising Winchester City resident’s taxes.

Is it not time for everyone start stating "regional community" for Valley Health Systems since VHS serves many counties outside of Winchester and Frederick County. VHS is no longer just Winchester and Frederick County.

VHS serves 18 counties to be exact in VA, MD and WV.

How many employees at the WMC campus live outside the City of Winchester?
How many live across the state line?

The charity care and bad debt are isolated benefits to those individuals in need.

The WMC campus is the home base of all of those 18 counties that VHS serves/resides in.

How many of those patients of charity care are actual Winchester and Frederick County residents?

Burkholder's memo challenges the report's "total community benefit and other measures" figure of $71.3 million for 2009. "... Over 63 [percent] consists of bad debt expense and Medicare Reimbursement Shortfall, both of which more accurately fall under the cost of doing business."

Reference the Community Benefit chart in The Winchester Star on September 24th. Maybe the more realistic "community benefit" number is the line labeled "total community benefit" for the 18 counties that VHS serves.
Valley Health System's 2009 Community Benefit Chart

Wonder if the folks with regular insurance are actually making up the majority of differences on Medicaid shortfalls, charity-care and bad-debt?

So really, how can anyone determine how much VHS is actually giving away locally in Winchester and Frederick County? One would think that with the technology and record keeping systems available today, VHS must be aware of that solely based on a zip code of the patients/customers.

The new Wellness & Fitness Center had $1.1 million in revenue during its first three months of operation when it opened their doors in September of 2008.

Wonder how much revenue it brought in for 2009 with their current 5,800 members?

Bottom-line, the perception is that those taxes will be very minimal to WMC overall once compared to the profits that WMC has turned out over the last 10 years. But will have a significant impact on the city’s tax base with hopes of getting it back to a respectable operating status so that City Council will not have to look into raising the city resident’s taxes in the future.

Unfortunately, this will not be an easy task for City officials as it will most likely end up being a long legal battle.
City Councilman Milt McInturff called the council's endorsement "appropriate," but said the issue includes "legal ramifications" that likely will be challenged in court.
"It's just the beginning of a long road," he said. "I think the commissioner of revenue is doing her job, and I respect the job she's doing."

No comments:

Post a Comment