With one more month remaining in 2017, South Central Kansas Medical Center announced an overall loss thus far, before sales tax, of $1.5 million.

South Central Kansas Medical Center (SCKMC)

Photo by Jeni McGee

Those excess expenses over revenue are due in part to increased costs of doing business, but several projects that were put into place to generate money instead have had the opposite effect.

A lab outreach program that was started in February initially showed a $1.1 million profit.

However, it now seems a large portion of that money will have to be returned to the insurance companies that paid it to begin with.

“On the lab outreach, the million (in) revenue, how much of that is going to be paid out?” City Manager Nick Hernandez asked at Thursday’s meeting of the SCKMC Board of Trustees.

“About $900,000,” replied SCKMC Chief Executive Officer Virgil Watson.

“Do you know the timeline?” asked Mayor Dan Jurkovich. “Hopefully, we can settle it before the beginning of the year,” Watson said.

“So (overall) that’s $1.8 or $1.9 million worse than last year?” Hernandez said.

“Yes. But things have changed since last year,” Watson said.

“And things will change next year. We just have to move forward with Winfield Medical Arts and our Direct Primary Care (clinic).”

“And in 2019, we’ll lose $800,000 in sales tax,” Hernandez said. “Unless we renew it,” Watson responded.

“Operationally, we aren’t as good as we were,” admitted SCKMC Chief Financial Officer Holly Harper.

This meeting also saw the first financial report from Winfield Medical Arts (WMA).

So far, the recently acquired clinic shows a loss of $12,784 — which Harper and Watson attributed to Medicaid not yet recognizing the change in ownership or classification.

“The payments will be backdated,” Watson promised.

WMA is expected to bring in somewhere around $500,000 a year to the medical center when all of its programs are up and running.

There is no definite timeline for Medicaid to acknowledge the change in ownership, though.