Massena Memorial Hospital officials shared an update on a new physician, equipment, finances and utilization with the Board of Managers Monday evening at their monthly meeting. August resulted in a loss from operations of $639,181 and a year-to-date loss of $1,310,131.
“We continue to work on financial permanence, the development/transition to a Non-For-Profit Hospital and an affiliation, to insure MMH is here for many years to come. We have said throughout, the healthcare industry is in flux and things beyond our control can impact our bottom line with no advance warning or notice. Today we are faced with added expenses due to the Medicare Low Volume adjustment and benefit costs that were $400,000 over the budget,” Robert G. Wolleben, Chief Executive Officer said. “Despite the challenges that pop-up every day, we are making real progress on this front as evidenced by the growing number of patients we serve both in the hospital and our outreach clinics. We are making investments in bringing new physicians and services to the hospital that will service community well into the future.”
The CEO explained, “There are expenses we do not control such as insurance company changing the rules in paying their bills or changes in legislation that effect the hospital’s reimbursements. Other areas include additional expenses of the retirement system because of shifts in the market or workmen compensation premiums. This is why it is so important to make investments in areas where we can grow revenues; such as new physician practices, state of the art technology and new services.”
Chief Financial Officer Pat Facteau reported the hospital continues to care for more patients in the hospital, and our network of clinics along with our ancillary departments. Inpatient volumes were down with discharges of 171 compared to last year of 202; but year to date inpatient discharges are up 6.22%.
Outpatient activity was up by 17.19% from last August, but the Emergency Department is down 3%. Areas experiencing continued growth; Outpatient Surgery is up 2.5% and the Outreach Clinics are up 67% compared to last year. For the two months under the hospital’s North Country Family Health Network, St. Lawrence Internists have seen 2,537 patients.
The CFO noted that new physicians recruited in the past year as well as investments in technology, equipment and improved patient relations all continue to contribute to the positive volume increases. Newborn births are trending at over an 18.33% increase over last year.
MMH is experiencing continued growth in the Outreach Clinics this year. The Louisville Family Health Center is up 29% over last year with the addition of Dr. Myo Win to the practice. The Surgical Group is trending 20% higher than last year and the Medical Group is trending at over 31% higher than last year. North Country Women’s Health practitioners are treating 25% more patients this year. Massena Neurology is up 18%, Cardiology is up 34% and the Walk-In Clinic is up 3% compared to last year. Year-to-date the MMH’s North Country Family Network of Clinics have treated 27,422 patients this year. Facteau noted this continued growth is due to the additional physicians recruited, new clinics and practices established this year.
Facteau noted benefit and compensation expenses were higher than planned in some key areas: personnel, health insurance claims, retirement expenses and physician recruitment. The hospital’s payroll expenses were up as a result of adding 11 Full Time Equivalent, FTEs, in the St. Lawrence Internal Medicine Primary Care Clinic. Health Insurance Claims are $400,000 year to date over last year due to several high dollar employee claims. Another area, Physician Recruitment expenses reflect recruitment fees related to new physicians and services.
“Total gross revenues are up 9.92% year to date, and the expenses to serve the additional contributing volume are up 9.12% as well. We continue to monitor the unusual expenses of employee benefits and supplies. The hospital continues to experience high levels of insurance contractual write-offs than it had in previous years. This is likely to continue as uncertainty brought on by federal policy changes become clearer,” Facteau said.
“In order to provide our patients with the highest level care, Massena Memorial Hospital has prioritized the efficient adoption and use of cutting edge industry technology as a major piece of our mission,” said Wolleben. “At MMH we focus daily on meeting the needs of our community and offering the best patient experience.”
“We welcome Dr. Henri Gaboriau, whose practice is beginning to ramp up. He is a double board certified ENT/Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons as well as a Diplomate of both the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery. He comes to the North Country with over 18 years of surgical experience. Dr. Gaboriau is the North Country’s only Facial and Plastic Surgeon.” said Wolleben.
The CEO added MMH also welcomes Dr. Wai Phyoe Kyaw, as a full-time Hospitalist. Dr. Kyaw joins the MMH Medical Team after completing his Internal Medicine Residency at Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn NY.
“We continue to focus as a team on the future to ensure MMH is a place where patients want to come, physicians want to practice, our employees want to work and of course our community chooses for their medical and healthcare,” Wolleben added.