Struggling Jackson Hospital nears conversion to all-private rooms
By Ashley Hopkins
Just three months after Jackson Health System President Carlos Migoya announced that the hospital planned to pull in patients by offering private rooms by the beginning of this year, the project is almost complete — 270 of 282 rooms are now private.
Despite a $9.5 million drop in November and "persistently sluggish patient volumes," Mr. Migoya's most recent report shows that Jackson earned $348,000 last month due to a drop in salary expenses.
Wages cost the hospital $66 million in December, which is $4 million less than budgeted, $6 million less than November and $14 million less than December 2010.
As 5,065 patients visited Jackson in December instead of the budgeted 5,466, Mr. Migoya is working to pull in patients and raise annual revenues by offering private rooms to all visitors. He said that initiative should reduce cross-contamination and infection within the hospital while ensuring that patients can recover in peace.
"We'll provide it to everyone, whether they can afford it or not," he said when announcing his plans to the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce in November, adding that pulling in insured patients should allow the hospital to offset the cost of providing service to the uninsured.
Edwin O'Dell, corporate director of public relations at Jackson, said that as of Tuesday 270 rooms had been converted to private, placing the hospital just short of its 282-room goal.
According to Mr. Migoya, no major capital investment is necessary to transition to private rooms, as there will be no changes to the hospital's
infrastructure or electrical
"Private rooms are absolutely where the buck is going," he said.
Mr. Migoya said he hopes the shift will increase patient satisfaction while pulling in patrons.
Studies over the past nine months have indicated that the number of patients who would refer friends and family to Jackson has increased from 30% to 70% over the last year. Mr. Migoya said he hopes the switch to private rooms will result in more gains in upcoming months.
"That is not nearly high enough," he said, "but it shows we are taking steps in the right direction."
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