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June 19, 2014 - 5:24pm

Regents approve UMHS operating budget


At their monthly meeting on Thursday afternoon, the University’s Board of Regents approved a wide array of budget proposals, including the FY2015 operating budget for the University of Michigan Health System.

The FY2015 budget of $2.578 billion total expenses represents a 2.9 percent increase against the $2.505 billion forecast for FY2014. It budgets for a 4 percent activity growth in the upcoming fiscal year. Activity grew 4.3 percent in FY2014, against a predicted increase of 5.1 percent.

Tony Denton, who will become acting CEO of the University’s Hospitals and Health Centers on Friday, said there has always been a very high demand for health services provided by the University, warranting continued effort and expenditures to expand facilities, along with working to shorten visits by improving quality of care.

Denton noted the upcoming opening of UMHS’s Northville Health Center, complete with 101 exam bays and infusion rooms, as an example of the University’s commitment to expand throughout the region.

Additionally, UMHS also continues to move forward on a proposed affiliation with Allegiance Health as a means to spread the University’s reach around the state. UMHS CFO Paul Castillo said the two health centers could sign formal agreements by the end of the summer or early fall.

One of the largest healthcare stories of FY2014, the implementation of open enrollments through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, played only a minor role in the discussion of the FY2015 projections. Castillo said the impact of the act likely wouldn’t be fully understood until 2015, when the second round of enrollments opens. Even then, he said, it could take months or years for health systems nationwide to accurately gauge the law’s financial impacts.