In January, Mount Nittany Health released its Annual Report to the community as we do each year, highlighting our accomplishments, growth over the last year, our utilization statistics, balance sheet and most importantly to all of us, our community benefit.
Core to our mission is keeping people well regardless of their ability to pay, and to that end, Mount Nittany Medical Center provided $4.7 million in free care to people who qualified. In addition, we provided about $2 million in education services, donations to Centre Volunteers in Medicine, as well as sponsorship of many other vital not-for-profit health and wellness organizations that fit within our mission to keep people healthy. I believe that, as we aim to be the region’s most trusted health leader, we need to support those organizations that fulfill a community need leading to overall health and wellness.
To ensure that we can continue to lead in this important area, we have modernized and expanded a number of our facilities, finalized our community-based strategic plan, and grown to become a true health system. In addition, as has been our history, we have been prudent with our financial resources to the extent that both Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings again have affirmed our bond rating in the A category and our outlook as Stable, while a number of other companies in many industry sectors have been downgraded. You can be confident that we are making the right financial decisions now to positively impact access to healthcare in the future. To that end, you are seeing what may be perceived as a boom in growth over the past three years, a result of our solid financial planning in the past and our solid vision for the future. This also requires us to continue our history of being constantly mindful of our resources while ensuring that our community is best served.
With that said, our finances are impacted by a number of significant influences, including government regulations and the impending reductions in Medicare and Medicaid. On March 1, automatic cuts took effect, and these include, among other things, a 2 percent annual reduction in Medicare funding. Complete regulations for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act legislation have not all been written yet, but we are anticipating the impact and taking steps to prepare accordingly.
While physically growing and improving our facilities, we have also invested in a number of efficiencies and cost-saving measures to ensure that we are a viable healthcare leader for years to come, including the development of an electronic health record environment, improved supply chain management, executing a sophisticated employee wellness program, and providing a number of community education and wellness events to help people make the right decisions about their own health and wellness. All this is aimed at continuing to be the most trusted source for healthcare in our region.
As always, we are grateful for the opportunity to serve you and earn the trust you’ve placed in us as your healthcare provider. I look forward to a bright future, and would welcome your comments or questions about our finances and preparations for that future. As always, you may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve Brown, FACHE
President and CEO
Mount Nittany Health