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Monthly Public Board Meeting Highlights – July 20, 2023

The St. John’s Health (SJH) Board of Trustees met on Thursday, July 20, 2023 for the regular public monthly board session. The following topics are the meeting highlights:

Fiscal Year 2023/24 Budget

As required by Wyoming State Statute, the Board of Trustees approved the budget for the new fiscal year, ending June 30, 2024. Throughout SJH, departments began work to develop the annual budget in March. The Finance Committee considered several key local and national trends and pressures facing SJH as they prepared the final budget numbers. One negative trend is that operating expenses are growing faster than net revenue. Staffing expenses and other inflationary pressures are drivers behind the increase in operating expenses. A significant reason that net revenue is lagging is that SJH is experiencing a payor mix shift, with a growing number of patients having Medicare as their insurance and fewer patients with commercial insurance such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Commercial insurance reimburses at a much more favorable rate for SJH than Medicare. The impact of even a small shift can translate to millions of dollars.

The 2023/24 Budget includes a 3.5% average price increase, approved by the Trustees in June, and $2.5 million for employee compensation plan adjustments. The budget also includes investment in new medical staff providers to improve access to care for the community, including Internal Medicine, Pulmonology, and Teton County’s first full-time medical Oncologist. Other reinvestments into the community will include a remodel at Wilson Internal Medicine, new fetal monitoring equipment, new OR equipment, and renovation and improvements at SJH employee housing units. Strategic capital investment will include an additional CT/ultrasound to reduce patient wait time andmajor updates to equipment and facilities in the surgical suites.

Strategic Plan 2023

SJH has been working with Kaufman Hall & Associates (KHA) to develop a Strategic Plan. This week, KHA visited Jackson to share some preliminary information based on national trends and initial interviews with approximately 10 SJH administrative and physician leaders and more than 200 members of the staff. On the national level, healthcare systems are struggling with post-pandemic conditions, including patient volume still in a period of recovery and expenses at high levels. These circumstances are helping to drive a negative outlook for the U.S. healthcare sector. At SJH, emergency department visits have not yet returned to pre-pandemic numbers, and there is a negative operating margin. Emerging themes from the staff surveys were issues with electronic medical record integration across the organization and the perception of market gaps in the areas of behavioral health, radiation oncology, gastroenterology, obstetrics, and neurology. The community will be invited to learn more about the strategic plan and offer insights on August 7th from 4:00-6:00 pm in the Jackson Room at the Wort Hotel. Refreshments will be served.

The regular August Public Board Meeting will be held on August 31st at 4:00 pm in the SJH Boardroom. The public is also invited to attend by zoom. Details and zoom link will be provided at