MUSC Trustees Review 2017 Budget, Plan Strategy for Health Care Challenges

Contact: Heather Woolwine

June 28, 2016

COLUMBIA, SC –The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Board of Trustees met June 27 to discuss the fiscal year 2017 budget for the university and its affiliates. Fiscal year 2017 runs from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017. The overall MUSC budget includes the academic institution (Medical University), South Carolina Area Health Education Consortium, MUSC Foundation for Research Development, MUSC Foundation, which exists to fund raise for the university, MUSC Physicians, and Medical University Hospital Authority.

"The broad theme of the meeting was to review the financial position of our institution and talk strategically about how we're going to face the future," said MUSC President David J. Cole, M.D., FACS. With a variety of changes under way in the health care field, most academic medical centers that are affiliated with hospitals are facing a similar situation. "It's important that the board and the administration all maintain the same high level of awareness and directional focus, especially at this time.

"The board members discussed both capital and operating budgets. "We want everyone to understand the strategy behind the numbers and how we determine the expense and revenue assumptions," said Lisa Montgomery, executive vice president of Finance and Operations.

On average, MUSC Health provides more than 1.5 million patient care visits, inpatient, and outpatient, across South Carolina every year. In recent years, the financial dynamics of hospitals have changed dramatically as a result of factors that include less in-hospital use, more people on Medicare and Medicaid, less private insurance, more narrow networks, and a switch to pay for outcomes versus pay for service, noted Patrick J. Cawley, M.D., MUSC Health CEO, and vice president for Health Affairs, University.

"For MUSC, there's another important variable that doesn't affect other, private hospitals -- that is our mission to provide the highest quality patient care to everyone who comes through our doors, regardless of their financial situation. As a teaching hospital, providing that consistent, quality care to everyone is part of who we are. That means at MUSC, we treat the sickest and the poorest patients and that impacts us as an organization in ways other organizations don't see," Cawley said.

Among the other topics that board members covered were:

  • Efforts to curtail students from graduating with onerous debt: In that vein, the university has requested modest tuition increases in three colleges -- Pharmacy (3 percent), Graduate Studies (2 percent), and Dental Medicine (2 percent).
  • The current campus master facilities plan and deferred maintenance.
  • The anticipated increase in MUSC research funding to more than $250 million for fiscal year 2016, with the understanding that while research is a mission-critical component at MUSC, it also comes at a cost.

About MUSC

Founded in 1824, the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) continues the tradition of excellence in education, research and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and nearly 800 residents in six colleges and has more than 17,000 employees. As the state’s only integrated academic health sciences center and largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $3.2 billion, with an annual economic impact of nearly $4 billion and annual research funding in excess of $284 million.

As the clinical health system of the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest quality patient care available, while training generations of competent, compassionate health care providers to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Comprising some 1,600 beds, more than 100 outreach sites, the MUSC College of Medicine, the physicians’ practice plan, and nearly 275 telehealth locations, MUSC Health owns and operates eight hospitals situated in Charleston, Chester, Florence, Lancaster and Marion counties. In 2019, for the fifth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina.