A neighboring health care system is questioning UNC Hospitals’ use of public funds following the hospital’s financial contribution to the UNC system.
WakeMed Health and Hospitals President and CEO Bill Atkinson criticized the $20 million that UNC Hospitals allocated to UNC from its budget, after it received $18 million in state appropriations from the N.C. General Assembly.
“How is public money being used?” Atkinson said. “They say one thing Monday and do another Tuesday.”
But for a hospital with net operating revenues of close to $2 billion for 2010, $20 million might be a reasonable price to pay to promote the quality of the partnering medical school.
UNC Hospitals spokeswoman Jennifer James said this transfer is natural because the UNC School of Medicine does not make a profit.
“In our budget we frequently transfer funding to the School of Medicine to help offset some of the cuts,” she said.
The contribution is meant to offset the 18 percent budget cuts to the UNC-CH campus and maintain the competitiveness of the UNC School of Medicine, James said.
UNC Hospitals ended fiscal year 2011 on June 30 with a 5 to 6 percent profit margin, allowing the hospital to make the contribution, she said.
“We greatly benefit from the research and teaching methods of the University,” she said.