2012 rate will be $.1898; 2011 rate was $.1897

Audrain Medical Center Board of Trustees voted unanimously to keep the hospital's tax rate for 2012 slightly beneath the maximum allowable rate set by law at $.20 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.
AMC President/CEO Dave Neuendorf said a special meeting of the Board of Trustees was called on Aug. 23 to establish the tax rate for 2012. The trustees adopted the rate based on actual ratios calculated by the Audrain County Clerk's Office. The new tax rate of $.1898 will be applied to the tax bills sent out by the county clerk's office this fall, which must be paid by Dec. 31. AMC will use the tax funds it receives (at the end of the year) for maintenance of the hospital in 2013.
The tax rate was $.1897 in 2011.
Neuendorf said the hospital has been operating at the same rate "many years," strictly for repairing AMC buildings and maintaining the grounds. He said AMC "much appreciates what we get, because we need all we can get," however he added, "we would like a higher rate."
That, he said, would require the vote of the people, and the trustees are not certain the public would support it in the future.
In 2007, the Board of Trustees tried to raise the tax to $.50. "We passed the petition and got it on the ballot to get the rate increased, but it was defeated," Neuendorf recalled. "So we will take the current maximum and be thankful for it."
Neuendorf said there have been talks about "going back to the public" again to ask for an increase, but no action is being taken at this time.
In other hospital news, AMC has not made any recent cuts in services to help balance the budget. Neuendorf said "the hospital has been concentrating on improving efficiency and eliminating waste and duplication, in order to reduce our operating expenses."
The average daily census this year is about 21. However inpatient care is the smaller portion of the business. More than 60 percent of AMC's revenues come from outpatient services. The outpatient departments and clinics see several hundred people every day, Neuendorf said.
AMC's laboratories were certified by Medicare earlier this year and certifications for other services remain in place and are due for renewal in 2013 and 2014.
The hospital is currently soliciting interest from potential affiliation partners this fall. They hope to become part of a larger health care system early next year. This Neuendorfsaid, will help secure greater access to capital, have better paying insurance contracts and share overhead costs.