Fire dept. awarded funds

MASSENA — Massena Memorial Hospital is 185 admissions behind where it was at this point last year, which represents about $2 million in revenue, according to Chief Financial Officer Patrick Facteau.

Overall, the hospital recorded a net loss of $1 million last month, compared to a net loss of $956,655 in July 2018.

Mr. Facteau told the Board of Managers on Monday that the hospital had 125 inpatient discharges in July, bringing its yearly total to 928. A year ago, it had 143 inpatient discharges in July for a yearly total of 1,113.

“We continue our downward slump in regards to admissions,” Mr. Facteau said.

Observation visits also were down from 60 in July 2018 to 43 last month. Year-to-date, the hospital had 453 observation visits in 2018, compared to 313 this year.

Outpatient registrations, on the other hand, were higher last month than in July 2018 — 11,802 in 2019 and 11,377 in 2018. The largest increase was in visits to hospital-based clinics. The facility recorded 5,194 last month, compared to 4,747 in July 2018.

“Visits are up overall,” Mr. Facteau said.

However, year-to-date, the hospital has recorded 80,605 outpatient registrations this year, compared to 81,105 in 2018.

Meanwhile, the hospital is $250,000 over last year in expenses. Among those expenses was an increase of $128,000 in health insurance.

“That’s just the way self-insured health insurance costs go,” he said. “One month they’re up, this month they’re down again.”

Mr. Facteau said the hospital has taken steps to save money. The cancelation of the da Vinci robotic surgery contract, for instance, is saving about $40,000 a month for the remainder of the year.

The hospital is also seeking Critical Access Hospital designation, which would bring in additional reimbursement.

Critical access is a designation given to eligible rural hospitals by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It was created in response to a string of rural hospital closures during the 1980s and early 1990s. The designation is intended to reduce the financial vulnerability of rural hospitals and improve access to healthcare by keeping essential services in rural communities.

Mr. Facteau said the hospital received two notifications after filing its Certificate of Need for the designation. State officials need to do a review of the hospital, and, once that’s complete, they’ll receive the designation. However, Mr. Facteau said, they haven’t yet heard when the survey will be done.

“We’ll know when they tell us,” he said.

“We’re hoping to see that come into play maybe next month or so, no guarantee,” Chief Executive Officer David Bender said. “It really gives us a chance to maintain most of what we have right now.”

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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