Bolstered by growing surgical revenue, Warsaw hospital preps for $10M expansion

After closing out its first profitable year in five years, Wyoming County Community Hospital has begun prepping for a $10 million expansion.

The hospital ended 2018 with a $3 million surplus on revenue of $65 million. That’s compared to 2017, when it had just $56 million in revenue and a $1.9 million deficit.

Don Eichenauer, CEO, pointed to increased patient visits for elective procedures, expanded services in orthopedics, near-capacity volume at its on-campus nursing home and a collaboration agreement with Erie County Medical Center for specialty services providers and a medical director.

 “We’ve been on a good progression in recent years, with the addition of more of our own providers and recruiting of specialists,” he said. “And, our quality has been going up. It’s been a nice turn-around.”

The 62-bed hospital in Warsaw is the sole inpatient provider for Wyoming County, recording 2,500 admissions last year and more than 14,000 emergency department visits.

It’s been a busy few months for the hospital: Since the start of the 2019, the hospital was approved for a $3 million grant from the New York State Department of Health through the Statewide Health Care Facility Transformation Program to renovate and modernize its lab, received accreditation from the Joint Commission as an advanced joint certification site for elective hip and knee replacement, and filed plans for a $1.1 million renovation for an orthopedic outpatient clinic in space previously occupied by the emergency department.

Specialty clinics saw a 43 percent increase in revenue last year, while inpatient and ambulatory surgery increased by 28 percent, led by ortho, OB-GYN and general surgery.

The $10 million expansion would add both operating rooms and ambulatory surgery space, Eichenauer said. Board members this week gave the okay to begin meetings with architects for a design and to begin meetings with staff on what to include and where to put the expansion.

The expansion will help address growing volume, while providing more modern operating rooms. The project follows a $20 million project a few years ago that included a new front entrance, lobby and emergency room addition as well as renovation in the ambulatory surgery area.

“When we did the major construction project a few years ago, the operating rooms and laboratory were the two areas that did not see significant renovations,” he said.

The project will be funded through bonding with Wyoming County and revenue revenue from increased surgical volume. Plans call for filing a certificate-of-need application with the Health Department later this spring, Eichenauer said.