El Camino enjoys record profits | August 17, 2007 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |


Mountain View Voice

News - August 17, 2007

El Camino enjoys record profits

by Susan Hong

El Camino Hospital saw its best fiscal performance in decades this year, chalking up a profit, or what it calls "net operating revenue," of $74 million — a 47 percent increase over last year.

But administrators say not to expect those numbers again.

"A hospital like this might expect a performance like this once in a generation. This was an unusual year," CEO Ken Graham said.

Better results were based on a number of one-time factors. The nonprofit hospital received about $10 million from arbitration and settlements with insurance companies, which had withheld payments from previous years. Investments in securities also performed well, contributing about $17 million. Patient care generated about $47.5 million in net revenue.

Administrators had planned to have 300 days' worth of cash on hand, so the hospital could operate without any incoming revenue, and beat that goal by 20 percent. The hospital now has 360 days' worth of cash on hand.

Graham said the money will go into investments, new medical equipment and facilities as the hospital prepares to pay back its $148 million bond for building a new earthquake-safe structure. Starting in 2010, the hospital will have to begin paying back $25 million a year on the bond debt.

"We are planning on very hard years in 2010 and 2011 as we take on a new building, a new mortgage and moving expenses," Graham said. The hospital may apply some of the increased funds to what he expects "will be a real tough two years ahead of us."

Construction of the new hospital is one-third complete and going smoothly, according to hospital officials, who say the project is on time and on budget. The project is slated to be finished by June 2009.

"We have the benefit of having a really experienced contract team," said project manager Ken King.

The steel infrastructure to the main building is complete, and contractors will begin working with doctors to choose which medical equipment to install.

So long as no unforeseen accidents or expenditures occur, the hospital may have money left in its contingency fund for an artwork centerpiece to grace the entrance, King said. But the board will not make a decision on the artwork expenditure until members are certain the budget allows for it.

The hospital board plans to hire one of four audit firms, including Jefferson Wells, Faithful & Gould, and Pricewaterhouse Coopers, to check construction costs.

E-mail Susan Hong at shong@mv-voice.com


Posted by Jan, a resident of another community
on Aug 17, 2007 at 9:17 am

Once again, El Camino Hospital celebrates overcharging patients and under-delivering health care to District residents! They need a whole new culture at ECH to actually deliver what they are supposed to - healthcare at a NON-PROFIT, COMMUNITY-OWNED HOSPITAL! This "enjoying" of record PROFITS has no place at El Camino Hospital. I assume El Camino still has in place bonuses for executives based on hospital "profits," rather than on delivering cost effective health care. El Camino Hospital is a leader in the health care crisis! There needs to be a change of leadership from the Board on down to correct and stop this celebration!

Posted by OJ, a resident of Cuernavaca
on Aug 28, 2007 at 10:03 am

The headline should read: "El Camino Hospital Gouging Patients." In a recent article, El Camino Hospital was charging more than DOUBLE what Camino Medical Group charges for an MRI scan. No wonder the hospital is congratulating themselves on record profits. Rather than giving cost effective health care for the community, El Camino Hospital is charging the highest rates for the least amount of service.

Posted by Jill Lozano, a resident of Waverly Park
on Aug 29, 2007 at 2:26 pm

From El Camino Hospital Board Meeting July 11, 2007:

"Dr. Fischbein from Stanford will be covering the Heart Surgery Program until a permanent replacement for Dr. Pelletier is identified."

Record profits and not even a permanent heart surgeon!

Posted by Alice, a resident of The Crossings
on Sep 22, 2007 at 8:59 pm

Mr. Domanico, please come back and reclaim your old job!

Posted by Donna K, a resident of another community
on Sep 25, 2007 at 8:41 am

Domanico? You've got to be kidding, Alice! Domanico and friends on the Board don't even know who owns the Hospital. He seemed more interested in taking kickbacks (stock options or job for wife) from vendors to the hospital, and then advertising that El Camino was using their products - Sensitron and Vocera come to mind, and I am sure there are others. The Voice sued the Hospital Board for salary information, something that all other District Hospitals in the area freely provided. Domanico, stay away for the good of the community!

Posted by Dom, a resident of another community
on Sep 28, 2007 at 9:28 pm

Domanico is available, Alice! He resigned from Legacy Health Care in Portland after less than two years there, effective immediately (today). Maybe he can take his deceptive and unethical leadership(?) to someplace else for a year or two.