Letters to the Editor

Hospital Upgrade

In a recent Questions and Answer letter, David Meyering requested certain information of Cascade Valley Hospital.
For almost 100 years, Cascade Valley Hospital has provided critical primary care and emergency medical services for the residents of northern Snohomish County. We are a community hospital dedicated to caring for local residents and their families.
When a patient arrives at Cascade Valley Hospitals Emergency Room, our specially trained ER doctors, nurses and medical specialists focus on addressing the patients medical needs. Under federal law, all hospitals are required to provide emergency or urgent care services regardless of a patients ability to pay.
Cascade Valley Hospital is funded through a combination of patient and insurance payments, federal, and state reimbursements, private philanthropic donations and local voter-approved funding. In 2000, local voters voted to increase this hospitals levy to 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed value to help keep the hospitals operations financially viable. Efforts to make our hospital operations more efficient have since stabilized the hospitals finances, and the levy has decreased to 30.5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. The hospital levy provides approximately $1.2 million of the hospitals $42 million annual budget. Although this is a small portion of the hospitals funding, it plays an important role in keeping the hospital financially viable. This is the only tax local residents pay to support the hospital.
Because Cascade Valley Hospital is legally required to treat patients seeking care at our hospital, we do provide care to patients without health insurance and who are unable to pay for services. However, over the last 10 years, only about 3 percent of the hospital billings have been written off as uncollectible.
Cascade Valley Hospital cares for our community in an aging and undersized facility. In just the last 10 years, the number of patients using our emergency room each year has nearly doubled. Cascade Valley Hospital now treats over 60,000 patients a year almost 22,000 in the Emergency Room. Approximately 96 percent of the hospitals patients reside in northern Snohomish, Island or Skagit counties. The last expansion of Cascade Valley Hospital occurred 20 years ago. Since that time, significant advances in medical treatment and technology have occurred, but cannot be fully accommodated in our facility.
Proposition 1 will upgrade and expand Cascade Valley Hospital to meet the communitys current and future healthcare needs. This plan for our hospital was developed with input from doctors, nurses, patients, hospital staff and the community to ensure critical emergency care and other health services continue to be available when you or your family need them most
Clark Jones, Administrator
Cascade Valley Hospital and Clinics

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