Higher liability premiums mean Crawford County taxpayers may see a increase in the share of their property taxes going to Crawford Memorial Hospital next year.
The CMH board Wednesday approved tax levies for the coming year. Most hospital revenues are generated through providing patient services, but as a government entity, the hospital district is entitled to levy taxes. The most significant is likely the tax to pay for liability insurance coverage.
CMH is part of the Illinois Compensation Trust, a hospital-owned workers' compensation program with about 100 members. ICT informed the hospital its rates are going up 4 percent next year, CMH Chief Financial Officer Al White told the board.
Last year, CMH collected $278,000 to cover its liability insurance. This year, however, it will levy $596,000, a 114-percent increase.
However, it should result in only a "fairly modest increase per taxpayer," White said, pointing out the change should only equal an additional $18 in taxes on a $100,000 house.
On the other hand, CMH will not levy taxes to help pay for two sets of outstanding bonds.
The board voted to abate taxes totaling $1.85 million on bonds issued in 2010 and 2018. Patient revenues will go toward paying for those bonds. Taxes will be levied to pay for a 2011-12 set of bonds, though.
Despite the significant liability premium increase, CMH is "pretty fortunate" compared to other hospitals, Chief Executive Officer Doug Florkowski said. He pointed out the price the hospital pays for workers' compensation has actually gone down thanks to 10 or 12 years of relatively few claims.
Also, premiums for insurance against cyber attacks remained unchanged. Florkowski credited CMH's information technology personnel with doing a great job to train employees to avoid possible cyber dangers.
Overall, financial news for the month was positive. "We're pretty much on track with where we were at this time last year," White said.
In other good news, it was announced that the Illinois Department of Public Health has officially cleared the renovated radiology department for use. A public open house is scheduled for Jan. 16.
In a related matter, board members agreed to pay bills from architect Dave Johnson and Sycamore Engineering for work on the department and other projects.
The radiology renovation was the last item on the hospital's old master plan. Work on a new master plan is underway, building and grounds committee chairman Gareld Bilyew said.
In other business, the board scheduled its annual retreat for Feb. 7 and 8 in French Lick, Ind., and approved bylaw and compliance manual revisisons.