University Health System Striving to be the Best!
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
December 19, 2002
Before providing you a summary budgetary report, I want to brag in the finest of Texas traditions on the University Health System (UHS) for just one of the many kinds of important work it does. In a first-in-Bexar County and one of the very few in Texas health systems, the UHS is developing a medical database that can be accessed through a fingerprint. For a Level One Trauma Center (the highest level of trauma centers), this is critical since many patients they treat are unconscious or unable to provide a medical history on themselves. The database is like the one I proposed previously and will include their confidential medical history in these critical life-threatening emergencies or when secured access is otherwise permitted.
As you know, your Commissioner's Court appoints your seven members of the University Health System Board of Managers must by law, approve their budget and their tax rate. So in anticipation of this approval by Commissioner's Court, on November 26, 2002, the UHS Board of Managers met and approved the University Health System's 2003 Operating and Capital Budget. Without going into great detail, the Bexar County citizens received good news.
Underlying the budgetary projections and plan presented are the following key assumptions:
- The 2003 Budget is based on assumptions and management actions aimed at offsetting changes being faced by the healthcare industry in general as well as the local market in Bexar County. Changes will occur throughout the year and staff will take actions as necessary in reaction to future events.
- There will be no cuts in the level of service or programs now provided by the Health System. It has been determined that all services currently provided are key and instrumental in carrying out its state mission.
- Hospital and clinic utilization will increase in light of population growth and reductions to the number of cases now being diverted from the hospital's emergency center.
- This growth is possible given the success of the competitive pay program aimed at enhancing the workforce and the ability to increase critical physician coverage for trauma, key clinical areas, and at the clinic sites.
- The Upper Payment Limit designed to assist hospitals providing indigent care is estimated for 2003 to be $24.7 million. This amount represents a major victory for the University Health System to obtain compensation from the State and Federal Governments for treating the indigent.
- The tax rate was kept at the existing rate of .243869 per $100 in property valuation. This resulted in a net increase (after deductions) of $958,000 in tax revenue to the Health System in support of 2003 operations compared to taxes using the effective tax rate. The impact of new property values is $3,843,000 in 2003.
- High priority capital expenditures of $47.5 million have been requested.
Again, this is a "good news" story for all Bexar County but it will only stay that way if we continue our continuous vigil. Please stay tuned!