County: More patients using Arizona Medical Center's South Campus

2014-06-02T00:00:00Z 2014-07-13T15:50:21Z County: More patients using Arizona Medical Center's South CampusBy Stephanie Innes Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Patient and surgical volumes at the University of Arizona Medical Center’s South Campus have gone up more than 100 percent in the last eight years, according to a county memorandum.

The spike in volumes includes a 119 percent rise in adjusted patient days and a 233 percent increase in emergency room and urgent care visits between 2005 and 2013, county data shows. The hospital recently opened a new medical/surgical ward to allow for continued growth.

Surgical procedures at the south-side hospital have spiked 406 percent to the current volume of 3,350 per year, according to the May 13 memorandum to the Pima County Board of Supervisors from county administrator Chuck Huckelberry.

“Overall census figures are at their highest levels since the monitoring began in 2005,” he wrote. “Data for FY 2014 continues to document the increase in utilization and patient volume.”

The data indicates the hospital has transformed from primarily behavioral health care to a fully mixed patient care hospital.

The county has been a part of the hospital’s growth, having provided the hospital with about $190 million since 2005.

The Board of Supervisors recently agreed to provide $30.8 million more to the University of Arizona Medical Center’s South Campus over the next two years.

The agreement extends a previous funding partnership between the county and the hospital, which is located at 2800 E. Ajo Way.

The new agreement extends funding to $15 million per year over the next two years, plus $800,000 to fund capital improvements to the geriatric psychiatric section of the hospital.

In his memo, Huckelberry expressed that the partnership is beneficial because it has allowed the hospital to access federal dollars, including $126.2 million in Graduate Medical Education funds, and $11.6 million in “disproportionate share” funding to cover uninsured and underinsured patients.

At the same time, the county has been able to maintain its commitment to the health of its residents, Huckelberry wrote.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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