Portage Health in Hancock has 96 beds and 800 employees.
About 40 of those employees are doctors.
Outmigration is a serious problem for all U.P. hospitals.
But Portage Health CEO Jim Bogan doesn’t place as large a dollar amount on the problem as other u–p hospital officials do.
He says he conservatively estimates U.P. financial losses from outmigration at $40 million per year, as opposed to the $80 million that others like Marquette General CEO Gary Muller estimates.
However, he agrees with colleagues that the reason why U.P. patients leave the area is quite often not a matter of choice.
Bogan says U.P. patients often need specific specialty areas that can’t be found anywhere in the U.P.
And there are some medical specialties portage health knows its patients are leaving to receive.
Bogan singled out orthopedics and oncology.
The hospital has added two orthopedic surgeons within the last six months, and it’s bringing another one to Houghton County this summer.
In oncology, Portage health has a chemotherapy center and also began using digital mammography in 2009.
Bogan says the addition of all these new services and features not only increases revenue.
It also allows for new jobs — up to 50 support personnel per physicians in some cases.
We’ll have a look at Baraga County Memorial Hospital in L’Anse tomorrow night.
Posted by: Mike Hoey