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Hospital posts a strong year, plans to raise rates 5 percent

Increases are almost across the board, including admissions and births.

By JIM ROSS

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 29, 2000


INVERNESS -- Citrus Memorial Hospital was a busy, and financially sound, place during the 1999-2000 fiscal year, according to records the hospital released last week.

The hospital year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. During that period, admissions were up 5 percent compared with the previous year, including a 14 percent jump, from 453 to 514, in the number of children born at the hospital.

Meanwhile, patient days increased 3 percent and hospital occupancy stood at 64 percent, compared with 62 percent the previous year, the records showed.

The average length of stay for a patient fell from 4.89 in 1998-99 to 4.78 during 1999-2000. This follows an industry trend.

The hospital collected $71.7-million in net patient revenues during the year, compared with $69.9-million in expenses, the records showed.

Speaking of money, the hospital also has published its 2000-01 budget, which calls for an overall rate increase of 5 percent. The hospital hopes to clear $5.4-million in revenue over expenses, money that would pay for upgrading services.

VIRTUAL NURSERY AT SEVEN RIVERS: At Seven Rivers Community Hospital, the Internet has met the maternity ward.

This month, the hospital started allowing parents to take pictures of their new babies and posting the pictures on the Seven Rivers Web site, http://www.sevenrivershospital.com, so that relatives and friends can see the new arrivals.

Many hospitals have offered this sort of service before, but Seven Rivers notes that its program allows parents to do the work without assistance from hospital staff. The laptop computer and digital camera are provided by WebFamilies, an Internet company.

Parents also can send electronic birth announcements and a private password to family and friends, inviting them to visit the Web site.

NO SMOKING, PLEASE: The American Cancer Society in Florida has asked restaurants to designate Nov. 16 as a smoke-free dining day. The event will coincide with the Great American Smokeout.

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