HOUGHTON – Despite a nationwide struggle in healthcare, the Copper Country’s oldest and most trusted healthcare organization, Portage Health, is still as strong as ever, pushing the curve and keeping its residents healthy.
That’s the main message from Portage Health CEO and President Jim Bogan, who presented to a group of community and business leaders at Michigan Technological University’s Memorial Union Building today.
Bogan discussed the challenging outlook for nationwide healthcare.
“As a nation, we spend almost twice as much as other nations on healthcare, and we’re not getting the results,” said Bogan. “The future of healthcare lies in hospitals providing more appropriate and cost-effective care, following the value equation of ‘(Quality+Service)/Cost=Value.’ That’s vital to our future.”
Locally, Portage Health has continued moving forward in its efforts to ensure patient access to a highly trained and qualified medical staff. In the past two years, Portage Health has recruited 25 new medical staff providers in a wide variety of specialties. Seventeen new medical providers are practicing already, and the remaining providers will begin practicing between now and 2014.
“Recruiting is always a challenge, especially in this economic atmosphere,” said Kevin Store, Director of Marketing and Communications. “However, the quality of life provided by our community and the quality of our healthcare organization has helped us attract well-trained and highly skilled providers to our organization.”
Financially, last year was a good one for the Portage Health, which bounced back after two consecutive years of shrinking operating margins to realize an operating margin of 3 percent, up from 2 percent in 2010. That margin provides for sound financial stability and puts Portage Health in a better position to move forward.
“We continue to buck the national trend,” said Brian Donahue, CFO and Vice President of Finance. “We’re able to provide more services for our community, have a stable workforce and keep ourselves financially strong.”
It is important that proactive measures continue to be taken, such as Portage Health’s alliance with Superior Health Partners and implementation of the Electronic Medical Records. Additional measures Portage Health will take in the coming year include initiatives in value-based purchasing, a bundled-payment-demonstration project, patient-centered medical home project and preparing for measurement of the health status of our population.
“What we want our community to take away from this presentation is the knowledge that Portage Health is in a strong financial position; cognitive of the forthcoming challenges we will face in providing quality healthcare services; working hard to position ourselves – now – to better meet these challenges in the upcoming year”, concluded Bogan.