Activity continued to ramp up at the Kent Institute of Medicine and Surgery (KIMS Hospital) in its fourth year of operation, putting the 79-bed hospital on a firmer footing following a difficult start.
The hospital said activity was up across all payor groups in the year ended 30 April 2018, driving revenue growth of 16% to £26.5m. Direct costs increased by 7% to £18.9m, leaving gross profit of £7.6m against £5m in 2017. After administrative expenses of £14.8m, operating losses reduced from £8.4m to £6.8m.
The brainchild of Dr Phyllis Holt and Franz Dickmann, the £95m hospital took its first faltering steps into the market in 2014 but low levels of activity in its initial years meant it soon ran into difficulties. In its first year, bed occupancy averaged just 12% and only 20% of available operating theatre capacity was used. As a result, revenue for the year was well below expectations at £8.7m and operating losses spiralled to £12m. More importantly, the Care Quality Commission said the low levels of activity posed a serious problem and rated the newly opened facility ‘Requires Improvement’.
However, 2018 marked a turnaround. The CQC rated KIMS ‘Good’ in January and the hospital continued to build on the previous year’s increase in NHS and private patient numbers.
Bed utilisation averaged 37% compared to 33% in 2017 while the number of private cases increased to 3,400 from 2,833 the previous year. Despite a decline in NHS spot work, the number of NHS cases treated rose from 3,920 to 4,600 as eReferrals continued to climb.
The hospital reported higher levels of activity across the private patient market with revenues up 19% on the back of a 13.7% jump in PMI caseload and a massive 33% leap in self-pay activity. Nevertheless, NHS patients represented 49% of the hospital’s caseload and 44% of total turnover at the year end.
Looking ahead, KIMS said it planned to maintain and grow NHS activity, increase its higher acuity caseload and strive for an ‘Outstanding’ CQC rating.
Commenting on the results, the directors said: ‘During the year, KIMS Hospital established further relationships with a number of GP surgeries throughout Kent. These relationships have provided, not only an ever increasing number of predominantly out of the area NHS referrals, but also an encouraging number of private patient referrals. KIMS hospital is actively seeking new GP partners to the north and west to expand its footprint and continues to grow the number of patients wishing to access the hospital’s state-of-the-art facilities in Kent.’