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River Hospital continues to improve

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ALEXANDRIA BAY — After struggling for a decade, River Hospital continues to climb its way up.

Chief Executive Officer Ben Moore III said the hospital has added staff as patient volume has increased with more services that have been offered. That picture was different 10 years ago when the hospital was established after the former Edward John Noble Hospital-Samaritan experienced serious financial problems.

Mr. Moore said while low insurance reimbursement rates and upcoming changes with health care reform may affect finances, nothing has been able to outshine the hospital’s recent successes.

“In the fall we did hire staff to get the partial hospitalization program up and running,” he said, regarding the River Community Wellness Program. “We think we’ll be able to expand to 20 a day. With that we got community psychiatry going, so that’s a win-win for everyone.”

Other highlights include the hiring of James W. Redmore as chief operating officer. Mr. Redmore, who most recently was administrator of support services at Carthage Area Hospital, was hired in December after former COO Will Connor went on medical leave.

“He was very impressive with a long military career and he’s brought management expertise and style,” Mr. Moore said. “He’s very process-oriented and he’s been very (accepted) here.”

While Mr. Moore said he doesn’t anticipate any other administrative changes, he expects nursing staff to increase as internist Dr. Alfredo Torres sees more patients admitted to the hospital and patients seen in the observation unit and River Hospital Convenient Care.

“All of that’s pretty exciting,” he said.

The hospital has been working on a financial recovery plan since 2010, a process that began after the facility closed its 27-bed skilled nursing unit. Before the unit closed, the hospital was losing at least $300,000 each year, which was the difference in Medicaid reimbursement versus the cost of that care.

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