North Shore Health set to receive more in federal funding, could have positive impact on local levy
Despite a gridlock at the Capitol in St. Paul, legislation that will, at least on paper, increase the licensed bed capacity at North Shore Health in Grand Marais advanced in the 2022 session.
The bill can potentially lead to a tax reduction for property owners in Cook County, according to elected officials and local healthcare administrators.
Starting in 2023, North Shore Health will be allowed 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 points out that the increase from 16 beds to 25 beds is essentially a technicality, one that will show up on paperwork and allow the hospital to secure more funding from the federal government. Specifically, the move will 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.
The legislation that passed does not mean the hospital needs to hire more staff, or that the hospital is aiming to expand, Wraalstad has repeated in numerous WTIP interviews related to this topic.
District 3A Rep. Rob Ecklund introduced the bill in January that will allow the expansion to become reality.
Wraalstad maintained early in this year’s legislative session that increasing the licensed bed capacity at North Shore Health and the legislation required to make it happen were both essential and possible.
She spoke with WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs about this topic and more local healthcare news in the audio shared below.