FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, contact Gretchen Youngren.
SAMARITAN HEALTHCARE CONTINUES TO FOCUS ON BUILDING NEW HOSPITAL
MOSES LAKE – We, the Samaritan Healthcare Board of Commissioners (Board), are committed to finding a solution to building the new Samaritan Hospital as planned. In July, the Board turned down the guaranteed maximum price (GMP) due to the gap between increased project costs caused by inflation and the available financing.
In addition, hospitals across the country are currently experiencing significant financial challenges because of the last couple of years, staff shortages, and now inflation.
“The good news of 2022 is that Samaritan—unlike many hospitals—has an increase in patient volume across most of the organization, which also leads to increased revenue. Samaritan, as well as hospitals nationwide, is being challenged by the same issues faced by our local businesses,” said Dale Paris, Commissioner of Samaritan Healthcare. “From the increased cost of labor due to staffing shortages and supply chain issues, to the surging costs of materials and supplies—all are affected. While our costs have increased significantly, our reimbursement from insurance companies and other payors has not increased. Some hospital reimbursement has not increased in many years.”
While working to move the hospital project forward, the Samaritan Healthcare Building Committee has been diligently managing the expenses involved with the project. Together, we have worked to reduce the cost of the project, while not reducing the patient care areas and functionality. We have also been actively looking for additional funds, such as:
- We received a once-in-a-lifetime, low-interest loan from the USDA. Of the total $136 million loan, $96 million of it is at a remarkable 2.25% interest rate, which significantly increases the value of this loan. Furthermore, Samaritan will not be able to apply for this loan again due to the population growth of the area, which makes us ineligible to participate in the USDA loan program in the future. Our USDA funding must be used now because the doors of our new hospital need to be open before September of 2026 or we will lose this once-in-a-lifetime funding.
- As we advocate for additional grant funding, meetings have been held with the City of Moses Lake, Grant County Commissioners, State Legislators, plus receiving Grant County SIP funding of $150,000.
- With the support of our Congressional delegation (Congressman Newhouse and Senators Murray and Cantwell), funding for Samaritan Hospital’s Women and Infant Services Initiative has been included in the fiscal year ’23 Appropriations bills in both the House and Senate. These bills are expected to be enacted in December of this year and could mean up to $2.5 million for the Hospital’s project.
- With thanks to our generous community, we have already raised $1.3M of the $2.5M Samaritan Foundation’s goal for the project.
“Healthcare has drastically changed in the last 70 years and so has our population—growing by over 800%,” said Katherine Christian, Chair of the Samaritan Healthcare Commissioners. “The Samaritan Hospital emergency department has seen patient volumes grow by nearly 340% since 1975. Imagine greatly expanding the responsibility of caring for our community, while working within limited space.” The last time the number of actual emergency department rooms was expanded was in 1999 when the department added 2 rooms. Since then, the emergency department volumes have more than doubled. There was a project in the emergency department in 2016 that added 3 quick care rooms, but those rooms are for lower level, quick care not emergency level care.
In 2016, Samaritan Healthcare asked our community what they needed from their local hospital. Our new hospital will provide what our community asked for—more primary and specialty healthcare, more surgical services, private patient rooms, private birthing suites, and to ensure patient privacy, elevators and hallways that are reserved for patient use only.
The new Samaritan Hospital will continue to be 100% owned and operated by the community. This guarantees that Samaritan Healthcare will always have local decision-making with our community’s needs in mind.
We, the Samaritan Healthcare Board of Commissioners, are grateful for each of our community members and each of our amazing healthcare family. Thank you for your ongoing support. These are challenging obstacles, but we are a pioneering community, and we make it happen, together. In the coming weeks we will provide updates for our community as we continue to move our new community hospital forward.
Since 1947, for the community, by the community. All of us, for each of you, every time.
Learn more about Samaritan’s healthcare services at www.samaritanhealthcare.com.
* Renderings for concept only, subject to change.