Cody Regional Health is expected to stop a two-year slide and make a small profit this year.

West Park Hospital Board members unanimously approved a fiscal year 2020 budget that projects a $241,650 operating profit.

The vote followed a public hearing at which no one spoke.

Two years ago the hospital lost $1.2 million and for fiscal year 2019 the projection is a $2 million loss.

Board member Ty Nelson applauded hospital staff for bucking the state trend. He said simply breaking even is a big improvement over an average of nearly minus-8 percent deficit amongst state hospitals.

“We’re actually growing it, which is amazing,” he said.

For 2020 the budget projects $101.74 million in net revenues and $101.49 million in operating expenses.

Interim chief financial officer Mark Vanderveer said the outlook is even better considering the operational cash flow, which was in the positive even the last couple of years.

Board members applauded the staff for putting the budget together, especially as the process to prepare it has coincided with personnel changes at the top.

Former CFO Randy Nightengale resigned following the May board meeting and Vanderveer’s last board meeting was Wednesday – he’s moving to Gunnison, Colo., with his family.

The board approved CEO Doug McMillan’s request to bring on Todd Gibson as the new interim CFO. He has roughly three years of experience overseeing the financials of hospitals around the country.

When he arrives he will oversee a new budget that includes a 4.2 increase in net revenue from FY19 and only a 1.8 percent increase in operating expenses.

Vanderveer said the biggest increases in spending include on supplies such as pharmaceuticals and implants, along with a .8 percent increase in wages. That includes a 2 percent merit pay increase for employees.

“I’m really pleased in this process,” McMillan said. “To present a positive margin, even of $248,000, a lot of other government entities are having difficult time and you don’t have to look far, they’re transferring from reserves to get to a break-even budget. We did not.”

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