More Public Hospitals Will Face Bankruptcy

 From the Wall Street Journal:

He predicted that private investors or religious orders may step in to take these hospitals off financially strapped municipalities’ hands. That’s where a Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing potentially comes in, Pillari said. Not only does it provide a framework for municipalities to sell their assets and pay off imagetheir debts, but it also takes some political pressure off municipality officials.

As a result, municipalities are left with a tough choice to make – do they continue covering their hospitals’ losses even as their other debts pile up and their tax revenues dwindle? “You have this horrible confluence of events for public hospitals. If you continue to fund the ballooning losses, the county or city can put itself out of business,” Pillari said.

Also, one video worth watching is from the Texas Medical Association, admissions were down so the ER staff was fired.  It makes a point of where a real catch 22 comes into play with the search for revenue and time to take care of patients.

Hospital Admissions are Down – ER Doctors are Fired – Texas Medical Association

This video as well which shows the situation in Las Vegas, again money.

Closing the Chemotherapy/Outpatient Clinic In Las Vegas and nowhere to go – University Medical Center

If I missed any hospitals that should be included, please feel free to add comments too.  BD

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On with the listings….

In Elkhart, IN

ELKHART, Ind. - The hospital in the northern Indiana city of Elkhart is cutting staff salaries, blaming the area's high unemployment rate that has resulted in fewer people with employer-sponsored health insurance.
Elkhart General Hospital President Gregory Lintjer says its more than 2,000 employees will see a 4 percent cut, while executives will take an 8 percent cut. The cuts were effective on Wednesday.
The hospital says the move will save $2.4 million this year or the equivalent of 88 jobs

In Baton Rouge, LA

NEW ORLEANS — LSU’s $491.8 million claim for federal replacement costs of Charity Hospital is “without merit” and should be rejected, a team of activist lawyers told FEMA in a filing late Thursday.

LSU ignored state law by closing the hospital and appealing to the Federal Emergency Management Agency on March 11, the administrative filing states. It also alleges post-Hurricane Katrina expert damage reports are “improperly tainted by conflicts of interest.”

In St. Louis, MO

The family of a former Shriner has donated $5.1 million to Shriners Hospitals for Children in St. Louis, which will name a surgical suite in the donor’s honor.

Edward Luxemberg, a member of the Shriners fraternity and manager of the Cahokia, Ill., Union Electric plant, passed away in 1965. His niece and trustee, Marjorie Schroeder, managed the trust assets until her death in 2007 at age 105. Schroeder was a retired St. Louis City elementary school teacher.image

In Reading, Pennsylvania

Reading Hospital laid off 106 employees Wednesday in the final phase of its plan to reduce what had been a 6,400-employee work force, the hospital announced in a press release.
The layoffs represent about 1.6 percent of the hospital's positions.

In Providence, RI

Over the last several weeks, the hospital laid off 17 of its 1,700 employees, all but one or two of them full time, said spokesman Brett Davey. The layoffs are a response to a drop in demand for patient services and a $920,000 loss from October through March, the first six months of the hospital’s fiscal year, he said. Roger Williams’ total operating budget is $150 million.

Lifespan announced in March that it was freezing the pay of all nonunion employees and that its top executives had accepted pay cuts. The hospital network includes includes Rhode Island Hospital, Miriam Hospital, Newport Hospital and Bradley Hospital. None of its 11,800 workers was laid off.

South County Hospital eliminated 20 jobs and trimmed the pay of seven top administrators. St. Joseph Health Services, which includes Our Lady of Fatima Hospital, in North Providence, and St. Joseph Hospital for Specialty Care, in Providence, eliminated 36 positions and cut pay of all of its non-union employees.

In Burlington, Vermont

Southwestern Vermont Health Care has laid off three executives as the Bennington hospital grapples with financial troubles.

Administrators say more cost cuts are expected, according to the Bennington Banner.

In an e-mail to staff on Friday, interim CEO Dr. Mark Novotny wrote that the hospital is facing a difficult financial situation, including an unexpected shortfall in revenues.

In Chicago, Illinois

The Loyola University Health System in west suburban Maywood on Tuesday said it will eliminate more than 440 jobs, or about 8 percent of its workforce, amid the recession and an economic downturn causing an influx of patients who cannot pay their bills.
The cost of patients who cannot pay has increased 73 percent, to $31.3 million from $18.1 million, from a year earlier for the nine months ended March 31.
"We have been hit by a number of things," Dr. Paul Whelton, chief executive of Loyola University Health System, said in an interview. "We are having more trouble with charity care, and the money we are getting [from patients] is more slow to come in. But we have a mission to provide care in our communities and we are going to stick to it."

In San Leandro, CA

SAN LEANDRO — No one should be surprised that San Leandro Hospital's emergency, medical, surgical and intensive care services may close this year.image

After all, ending general acute care there was part of a highly publicized November 2007 pact between Sutter Health — the giant not-for-profit network of Northern California hospitals and medical facilities — and the Eden Township Healthcare District. The district owns the hospital.

And, last November, a consultant told district directors that the district is unlikely to have the multimillion-dollar income needed to run San Leandro Hospital when Sutter's hospital lease is up in 2010.

In Plaquemine, Louisiana

PLAQUEMINE, La. (AP) - A federal bankruptcy judge has ordered a Plaquemine hospital to close.

A court-appointed official assigned to monitor River West Medical Center said that the hospital’s financial problems were compromising patient safety. The 80-bed acute-care hospital was closed Friday and all of its 90 employees lost their jobs.

The remaining five patients were either transferred or discharged.

The hospital’s closure came two weeks after a group of doctors announced they had acquired River West’s physical facilities and planned to transform it into a locally owned, not-for-profit hospital.

In Rancho Cordova, CA

Sutter Health, which runs many of the Bay Area’s largest hospitals and medical groups, is cutting 121 information technology jobs at its Information Services department in Rancho Cordova, near Sacramento.

Sutter, a 26-hospital system based in Sacramento, said the move came in response “to the continued economic downturn affecting the health-care industry and all California employers.

Hospital-based EHR installations other than Peninsula Medical Center’s will be on hold “until sometime after 2009,” officials said Monday. Sutter plans to speed up completion of its EHR rollout to affiliated physician organizations, however, where about 80 percent of its health-care services are delivered.image

In New Hampshire

CONCORD, NH – Eighty-five percent of New Hampshire hospitals are experiencing declining financial health as a result of the recession, despite implementing cost-saving measures such as reducing administrative expenses and cutting staff.

According to a survey by the New Hampshire Hospital Association, a majority of the state’s hospitals reported increases in the number of uninsured patient visits to their emergency departments (60 percent), uncompensated care (70 percent) and the number of patients covered by Medicaid or other public programs for low-income populations (53 percent).

In Watsonville, CA

WATSONVILLE - Watsonville Community Hospital laid off 39 workers Monday in a move designed to cut costs in a tough economic climate.

Officials said the layoffs are the result of an analysis that showed the hospital could restructure to operate more effectively and efficiently.

"The decision to eliminate positions is always difficult and was made with great care to ensure that there will be no impact on the quality of care provided for our patients and to minimize the number of employees affected," said Chief Executive Officer Jae Dale in a written statement.

Related Reading:

Desperate Hospitals Update – April 2009
Desperate Hospitals – March 2009 Update
Desperate Hospitals – February 2009 Update
Desperate Hospitals – Updated November 21, 2008

Desperate Hospitals – September 2008

Desperate Hospitals: Chicago Hospital Hangs For Sale Sign
Desperate Hospitals - Hawaii- What is happening to our Hospital System?
Desperate Hospitals - August 29 (Continued)
More Desperate Hospitals - Miami, FL and Cape Cod, MA
A hopeful prognosis - Desperate "California" Hospitals
Desperate Hospitals - Century City Doctors Hospital (Los Angeles) begins shutting down, others file Chapter 11 to reorganize
New New Jersey law to pinpoint financially troubled hospitals - "Desperate Hospitals"
Bankruptcy Bug Hits Hospitals – Desperate Hospitals

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