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Adding more licensed bed capacity at North Shore Health could benefit local taxpayers

North Shore Health is hoping to increase its licensed bed capacity from 16 to 25 in the years ahead as a means of bringing more revenue to the healthcare facility in Grand Marais.

Hospital Administrator Kimber Wraalstad told WTIP that North Shore Health would designate nine nursing home beds currently in the facility into a new category for state classification and funding. Hospital officials are currently working with lobbyists and others in St. Paul to move the proposed changes forward in the 2022 legislative session.

If the hospital’s plan is approved, North Shore Health would increase its licensed bed capacity to 25. This move would also allow the local healthcare facility to tap into more funding streams, including a likely increase in its Medicare revenue by an average of $800,000 annually, according to Wraalstad.

During the recent WTIP interview, Wraalstad also discusses an uptick in the number of COVID-19 cases in Cook County. Local public health officials reported 17 new cases in the local population in their report from Dec. 23. Audio below.