Staffing issues in recent years caused The Memorial Hospital to lose footing in the local market share, resulting in a rocky first few months of 2006 for hospital finances.
"People, as a result of that unsettled time, maybe decided to stay away," said George Rohrich, chief executive officer at TMH. "They may have said, 'you know what, I'm just going to somebody else.'"
The year-to-date net income at TMH is $487,694, or 41 percent below budget.
Still, hospital officials are optimistic that finances are rebounding. At Wednesday night's board meeting, Rohrich reported that October is the sixth consecutive month the hospital has experienced a net income.
Finances were again on board members' minds Wednesday when the board unanimously approved the operating budget for 2007. The budget estimates $25.6 million in gross revenues, and a projected net income of $983,326.
Rohrich said the estimates are conservative.
"We're being safe," he said. "We fully expect to achieve and hopefully surpass the 2007 budget."
The gross revenue in the '07 operating budget is $1.7 million higher than the 2006 budget. However, the net income is about $417,000 less than the '06 figure of $1.4 million.
Rohrich said the disparity lies with the hospital's plan to hire two new general surgeons in 2007. Surgeon Stan Pense has accepted TMH's contract offer and will begin work in January.
The hospital is currently recruiting another surgeon, the CEO said.
Another factor in the difference between the 2007 and 2006 net incomes is that estimated revenue streams, gains made by the addition of two new surgeons, are "very conservative," Rohrich said.
The CEO said the hospital would continue an aggressive recruitment of new physicians to the area.
"We believe there is a shortage of physicians in Craig, Colorado," he said.
Joshua Roberts can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or firstname.lastname@example.org.