Business

WakeMed returns to profitability in 2014

Children line up to check out a WakeMed helicopter at Lake Benson Park during Garner Night Out.
Children line up to check out a WakeMed helicopter at Lake Benson Park during Garner Night Out. kjahner@newsobserver.com

WakeMed Health & Hospitals posted an operating profit in 2014 as the Raleigh health system rebounds from its first financial loss in the past half-century.

The health system, with 939 licensed hospital beds and about 8,300 employees across the Triangle, is facing declining Medicare reimbursements and a multimillion dollar software upgrade, among other pressures. Last year WakeMed’s CEO Bill Atkinson resigned after the company posted a $14.4 million loss.

WakeMed recently reported an operating profit of nearly $4.2 million for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2014.

The economic turnaround is the result of expense controls, such as limiting overtime, getting better deals on supplies and renegotiating reimbursement contracts with health insurance companies. WakeMed also shut down two skilled nursing facilities in Zebulon and Fuquay-Varina.

WakeMed is collaborating with Duke Medicine to coordinate services and supply each other with patients.

In addition to its Raleigh campus, WakeMed includes a hospital in Cary and is planning to open a North Raleigh hospital this year. Additionally WakeMed owns seven “healthplex” facilities and outpatient centers, as well as a 260-doctor practice with more than 50 offices.

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