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Ocean Beach Hospital and Medical Clinics Shares Its Funding Philosophy

Contact:           Scot Attridge, Chief Executive Officer
Office (360) 642-6300 | sattridge@oceanbeachhospital.com

“Rural residents deserve access to quality health care,” CEO says

ILWACO, WA — Ocean Beach Hospital and Medical Clinics (OBHMC) has served residents of south Pacific County for almost 90 years, operates under a balanced budget, and has passed all independent financial and accountability audits. The hospital district’s mission is to increase access to quality health care for rural residents.

OBHMC (also known as Public Hospital District 3 of Pacific County) is designated a Critical Access Hospital to help bridge the health-care gap between cities and rural communities. OBHMC’s employees, management team and Board of Commissioners are passionate about ensuring rural residents receive the best care possible close to home.

“Rural health care continues to have a tremendous impact on me and my family,” OBHMC CEO Scot Attridge said. “I was born in a rural hospital similar to the one we have here. Before the age of five, I had two surgeries in a rural hospital. My children were born in rural hospitals. Concussions, broken bones, life-threatening viral infections, surgical procedures … all were successfully treated in critical access/rural hospitals like ours. As I look back, things could have turned out very differently were it not for local access to quality health care in rural communities.”

The number of people the hospital district serves has increased significantly. In 2022, the hospital district served almost 30,000 patients.

How health care services are funded

The hospital district is funded by patient revenue and a levy of $0.47 per $1,000 of assessed property value paid through property taxes. The levy helps pay for the daily operations of the hospital and medical clinics and helps fund the emergency department, surgical doctors and services, primary care providers, and some specialty services.

A common misconception is that revenue from the levy increases annually by the same amount as assessed property values. That is not the case. State law limits taxing districts to a one percent revenue increase per year. This means that the amount of money the hospital district receives in levy funding does not increase by the same percentage as property values because of that one percent limit.

Voter-approved bonds pay for capital projects, such as renovating and maintaining facilities and purchasing new medical equipment. Voters have a history of approving bonds for capital projects for OBHMC. In 2021, the hospital district paid off its last bond of $0.35 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

In April, the hospital district is asking voters to consider a $0.17 per $1,000 capital bond to fund additional space for specialty and women’s health services, a nonprofit urgent care center, facility renovations and medical equipment upgrades.

Stretching tax dollars further

The hospital district applies for and has received grants to help supplement costs for smaller projects like installing a service elevator to transport medical and HVAC supplies and patient and guest meals. It also partners with community groups to provide services and keep costs down. For example, OBHMC works with the senior center to provide fitness, health, and wellness programs. OBHMC also works with The Rural Collaborative to keep costs down through shared contracts for insurance, lab tests, and other purchased services, such as billing and compliance tracking.

These measures help lower costs, but they are not enough to fund the hospital district’s daily operations and capital projects without its operations levy and voter-approved bonds.

The hospital district’s funding decisions are guided by its strategic plan and community health needs assessments. These documents are approved by the Board of Commissioners who are locally elected to represent the community’s priorities. All board meetings are open to the public and meeting information can be found on the hospital district’s website.

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Public Hospital District 3 of Pacific County (known as Ocean Beach Hospital and Medical Clinics) provides both routine and critical health-care services to residents from Naselle to Ocean Park. Our hospital and clinics ensure continued local access to high-quality health care for rural residents. Our mission is to ease the pain and improve the health of residents and visitors in our care. We are one of the largest employers in Pacific County, providing family wage jobs to 180 people. More information on Ocean Beach Hospital and Medical Clinics can be found on its website at www.oceanbeachhospital.com.

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