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Lubbock County Commissioners Hear Proposed Tax Rate and Budget for County Hospital District, University Medical Center

At this morning’s meeting, Lubbock County Commissioners were presented with the hospital district’s budgets for 2011-2012.

The hospital district’s proposed tax rate for 2011-2012 is 12.07 cents per $100 home valuation, which is the effective rate from last year.

University Medical Center, which is operated by the County hospital district, expects a profit for 2011 of around $13.7 million, following efforts by the hospital to reduce staffing, overtime expenses, and negotiate lower pricing on medical supply contracts, up from the initial estimate of $5 million.

For 2012, the health system expects a profit of $5.3 million. Property tax revenue makes up 4.1 percent of the hospital’s operating budget, which is low compared to the state’s hospital district average of 25 percent.

UMC also received $2.1 million in stimulus payments, for progress made toward implementation of an electronic health record as well.

A decrease in profits for 2012 is expected, due to anticipated costs increasing more quickly than reimbursements from groups such as Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial insurance companies. Healthcare bills that go unreimbursed have also been on the rise, and are expected to jump to $81 million in 2012, up from 2011’s $73 million. Revenue for UMC is expected to increase by 5.1 percent, while expenses are projected to increase by 5.8 percent.

The total for the 2011 revised operating budget is $433.9 million, and the 2012 proposed operating budget is $458 million.

Lubbock County Commissioners will consider the hospital district tax rate at a future meeting.

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