MASSENA June was another difficult month for Massena Memorial Hospital, but officials are optimistic that several factors will contribute to a financial turnaround.
The hospital lost an additional $478,452 last month, bringing 2012s loss to $1,639,860. Chief Financial Officer Sean M. Curtin said the factors that contributed to previous losses continued in June, including low insurance reimbursements and fewer patients than expected.
Its a reflection of the industry, Mr. Curtin said. Youd be very hard-pressed to find a hospital in the area thats flush right now.
But additional revenue is coming. The hospital expects to receive more than $300,000 each month from July to December to boost its bottom line. The total $1.8 million will be Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements paid to the hospital for its updated information technology system, designed to improve patient care.
Federal legislation approved in 2009 allowed hospitals that updated their systems before 2014 to receive the additional Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements. The hospitals that did not update their systems could be penalized starting in 2015.
Massena Memorial Hospital has invested $1 million in information technology during the past couple of years and received a Medicaid reimbursement of $574,478 last year.
Its an incentive payment to get us to change our process, Mr. Curtin said. Its not a direct reimbursement.
The updated software and technology required staff training, officials said.
This is a huge task that this facility has proactively researched and implemented across the board, hospital spokeswoman Tina R. Corcoran said.
Junes losses came prior to a downsizing that the hospital implemented July 2. Financial losses prompted officials to lay off two employees, leave open 13 vacant full-time, part-time and per diem positions, and reduce hours for part-time employees in several departments.
The hospital will realize savings from those cuts in the coming months, Mr. Curtin said. The facility is continuing to review expenses and expects to announce additional services in the coming months to boost revenue.
Theres no silver bullet to make things happen, Mr. Curtin said.
In addition, hospital officials hope to recruit two or three primary care physicians and an orthopedic surgeon to the area in the coming months. One recruitment tool is a $3.9 million medical office building on Maple Street that broke ground in May.
Ms. Corcoran said she has received several questions from the community about the buildings necessity in light of the hospitals financial problems. But the completion of the facility will allow the hospital to better recruit physicians and ensure profitability and viability, officials said.
This will provide long-term growth to the facility and long-term benefit, Mr. Curtin said.