Hospital reports $1.7 million loss during August

Memorial Hospital lost $1.7 million in August, but one-time payments inflated those numbers, according to Chief Financial Officer Patrick Facteau. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

MASSENA — Massena Memorial Hospital lost $1.7 million in August, but one-time payments inflated those numbers, according to Chief Financial Officer Patrick Facteau.

“We had specifically a bunch of one-time actual expenses,” he said.

Without the one-time expenses, he said the hospital’s monthly loss would have been about $590,000.

$590 (thousand) is a substantial improvement to what we’ve done. We’re moving in the right direction, but it’s not fast enough,” Mr. Facteau said.

The one-time expenses included payments for the New York state retirement plan, contracts for the emergency room and anesthesia, and physician’s bonuses.

He said they were taking steps to ensure they didn’t run into the one-time payment issue again in the future.

“What we’re going to do in the future is, on a monthly basis, we will accrue for these estimated expenses,” Mr. Facteau said.

St. Lawrence Health System began staffing the emergency room this month, so he said they no longer have the contracting expense they had been incurring. They’ve also adjusted their contract with the company that provides anesthesia services.

The hospital continues to be down in patient volume. They had 125 inpatient discharges, 50 observation visits and 11,652 outpatient registrations in August. They had budgeted 152 inpatient discharges, 61 observation visits and 12,126 outpatient registrations.

While those numbers are down, Mr. Facteau said they have looked at where they can reduce expenses.

“There are several things we have done in the past” that are helping to reduce costs, he said. “We’ve made substantial improvements.”

The hospital faced three payroll periods in August, but Mr. Facteau said they were able to use a loan they had obtained from St. Lawrence Health System to cover those costs.

They’ll also be using loan funding to cover about $250,000 in capital projects that will take place this year.

Members of the hospital’s Board of Managers approved the capital budget during their meeting on Monday.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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