Bristol Hospital is reporting a loss for its latest fiscal year.
Bristol Hospital and Health Care Group hosted their annual Corporators Meeting and Breakfast on Wednesday, March 7, at the DoubleTree by Hilton.
Louis Auletta, Chair of the Finance Committee gave his report, saying the hospital finished fiscal year 2017 with a loss of $6.1 million, on $178 million in net revenues. He said that net income declined from 2016 by approximately $6 million.
“Key factors contributing to the loss include the following,” said Auletta. “The net impact of the state hospital tax, reflected in our financial statements, increased to $3.1 million. The hospital is self-insured for malpractice, and the settlement of an unanticipated claim dating back to 2013 impacted current year ends by $1.2 million. As a result of this significant investment, made in on-boarding new specialty physicians, the Bristol Hospital Multi Specialty Group, posted a loss of $5.3 million for the year.”
“While we continue to look for every opportunity to improve the financial performance of Bristol Hospital Multi Specialty Group, we are encouraged that so many indicators are trending in a positive direction,” said Auletta.
“This was a tough year  financially,” said President and CEO Kurt Barwis. “And, as you heard, our expectation is that we’re going to get back to breakeven. Part of how we get back to break even is the extraordinary, incredible outcry that this community had in terms of advocacy with our state, with our legislators. It would be wrong of me not to thank and recognize all of them, including the mayor of Bristol, who has gone on many meetings with me, and helped me at the capital to advocate for our community hospital.”
Chair of the Audit and Compliance Committee Mark Blum, explained that the role of this committee is to assist the Board of Directors in overseeing the company’s financial recording process and to determine controls. Based on an audit and compliance review, done by the hospital’s accounting firm, Blum moved that the board accept the audit.
Doug Devnew, chair of the Board of Directors, opened the meeting by recapping some of the happenings at the hospital, including some of the renovation projects and the opening of the Senior Behavioral Health Unit. He then introduced Glenn Heiser, secretary and treasurer of the Board of Directors.
Thomas Barnes, chair of the Governance Committee, introduced the current BHHCG corporators, saying there about 300 corporators and that they elect the Board of Directors. Barnes then introduced the newly elected corporators; Mary Fortier, Gregory Hahn, Peter Kelley, Sheila Kelley, Joshua Medeiros, Christine Petit, and State Rep. Dr. William Petit.
Before giving his report, Barwis announced who would be leave the Board of Directors; Dr. Kenneth Benoit, MD; Dr. Vijay Joshi, MD; and, Dr. Bala Shanmugam, MD, who served as the president of the medical staff, but is now stepping down. Dr. Sharon Adler, MD, is the new president of the medical staff.
Barwis also spoke of the important a community hospital is, saying “if we don’t provide local access to services, people will go without the help they need”, emphasising the mission of the hospital, “to enhance the health and well-being of our community… and to serve as the responsible steward and advocate for the health of our community.”
Barwis also emphasised the importance of getting educated on the warning signs of mental health, saying that suicide is the second leading cause of death for people aged 10-34 and the fourth leading cause for people aged 35-54. Suicide, Barwis said, is the 12th leading cause of death in the state of Connecticut. He encouraged those gathered to “question, persuade, and refer” the people who may be exhibiting signs of wanted to harm themselves.
Auletta also reported successful physician recruitment in orthopedics, urology, oncology, and internal medicine. In the first four months of FY17, physician office visits had increased by 13 percent.
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