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Finance committee OKs capital improvements

July 26, 2012
Emily Siegmon , The Alpena News

ALPENA - The Alpena Regional Medical Center Finance Committee agreed on Wednesday to present four capital purchase recommendations to the board next week, including the purchase of new equipment at a price just over $1 million. The committee also reviewed the June financial reports and discussed a pre-audit briefing.

The committee approved the purchase recommendation of a Magnetom area magnetic resonance imaging machine from Siemens in the amount of $1,991,970.

Charles Sherwin, vice president of business development and clinical studies, said ARMC has had MRI services since 1997, and moved forward with a fixed unit in 2003, based on additional volume coming from the cancer center. However, the current machine is a nine-year-old system that no longer meets the needs of many patients.

"The new machine will have better image resolution and will help with any claustrophobic patients. This has been on our list of high priorities," Sherwin said. "The table capacity is 100 pounds more than our current system, and it has new techniques that will allow us to perform studies on patients."

Sherwin said based on board approval, the new MRI machine could be in place by November. The other purchase recommendations include remodeling the pain and procedure clinic for $395,500, an interface for the emergency department, operating room, intensive care unit, 2 South, 3 South and pain clinic from Meditech so information will flow to the electronic health record automatically for $53,050. The final recommendation that will be made to the board is the purchase of a MIST wound machine from Celleration for $16,000.

In other business, George Smart, vice president for finance and information systems, reported a pre-audit year-end operational assessment showing inpatient service volumes fell short of expectation by 8 percent with acute care volume down by 11 percent over plan expectations.

"We performed well throughout the year with outpatient revenue, within 2 percent of our plan. Overall, operating expenses reflect good expense moderation in relation to volume," Smart said. "In general we performed better than planned."

For the month ending June 30, 2012, operating generated deficit revenue over expense in the amount of $40,218 compared to a planned excess of $278,230, but with the addition of non-operating revenue net deficit revenue over expense is $42,702.

The month of June operating fund disbursements amounted to $9,015,423 with R&I disbursements of $45,337 with write-off of uncollectible patient accounts amounting to $545,619 and recoveries of $97,947.

Emily Siegmon can be reached via e-mail at or by phone at 358-5687.



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