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Gundersen CFO says report conclusions are misleading
It's the most profitable hospital in the nation at $4,241 per patient.
Which begs the question: How much money is a reasonable amount for a hospital to make?
A new report says, whatever that amount is, Gundersen Health System in La Crosse is exceeding it.
The latest Health Affairs report claims Gundersen made a profit of over $300 million in the fiscal year of 2013 - a lot for a nonprofit. Seven of the Top 10 in the report were nonprofits.
Also, that profit was more than any of the 1,500 or so other nonprofit, acute-care hospitals in the study by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and others.
That's excessive, claims the report authors, but not if you look at the whole financial picture, responds Gundersen chief financial officer Dara Bartels.
Bartels claims the report doesn't look at the total costs for an integrated system of health care and doesn't take into account quality of care.
Bartels says analyzing costs of a single-care center in an entire system ignores the cost of administration of the whole system, as well as costs of clinics throughout the region.
Bartels added that the report focuses on Medicare costs reports that haven't been relevant in years.
As a nonprofit, Gundersen doesn't distribute surplus earnings to shareholders but funds other activities in the organization relevant to its mission.
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