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New Budget Will Expand Services for Phoebe Patients & Improve Pay for Employees

The Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (PPMH) Board of Directors on Wednesday approved a $570 million budget for fiscal year 2020 that includes key investments in Phoebe’s workforce and paves the way for major enhancements that will improve service for patients in southwest Georgia.

“Despite continued financial pressure resulting from the lack of Medicaid expansion in Georgia, growing labor expenses and continued increases in drug costs, our hospital has improved quality of care while adding and growing services for all of southwest Georgia.  Our board approved a comprehensive FY2020 budget that will allow us to implement new strategic priorities as we continue to grow and work to better meet the needs of the communities we serve,” said Brian Church, Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer.

The budget includes an overall 3% increase for merit and market adjustments.  “Healthcare employees have many options in today’s job market.  We have to offer outstanding benefits and competitive pay to ensure we are attracting and retaining the best people for our organization.  This budget puts particular focus on increasing wages for market sensitive positions to help us maintain a high-quality workforce,” Church said.

The budget also funds $41 million in capital improvements.  Of that, $9 million is set aside for strategic projects that will be announced in the coming months, following the completion of an ongoing strategic planning process designed to set new priorities for Phoebe Putney Health System.  Other major expenditures in the capital budget include $3 million for operating room upgrades, $3 million for a new simulation lab for training and education, and $1.25 million for a new helipad that is part of an effort to earn level II trauma center designation from the state.

Phoebe will remain one of Dougherty County’s largest property taxpayers, expecting to pay taxes and voluntary payments in lieu of taxes totaling more than $950,000 in the new fiscal year.  The budget also includes funding to expand specialty services including orthopaedics, cardiology, rheumatology, dermatology, plastic surgery and trauma surgery.

“We believe this budget strikes the right balance between fiscal responsibility and the need to invest in people and facilities,” said PPMH Board Chairman Dr. John Culbreath.  “We are committed to providing Phoebe employees the benefits they deserve and the tools they need to perform at their best, and we are committed to making sure we offer the best possible care to our patients.  This budget will help us achieve those goals.”

Under the new budget, the hospital’s estimated employment will be 2,931, an increase of 27 full-time equivalents (FTEs) over last fiscal year.  Annual payroll and benefits total $265 million.  The Georgia Hospital Association estimates Phoebe’s annual economic impact at $1.27 billion dollars.