Massena Memorial Hospital sees big financial improvement, but still finishes January in the red
Wednesday, February 28, 2018 - 11:50 am

By ANDY GARDNER

MASSENA -- Massena Memorial Hospital finished January in the red but saw a significantly lower net loss than in previous months, where they were bleeding huge sums of money.

The hospital lost $61,556 in January, which is down sharply from the $1.8 million loss they booked for December.

MMH CFO Pat Facteau said cost-savings measures are starting to pay off, and costs due to their self-insured employee health plan are down.

“There’s a lot of costs that we’re working on. We’ve been able to reduce some costs with hospitalists by getting our own,” Facteau said. Hospitalists are doctors who specialize in treating hospitalized patients.

Officials at past meetings where MMH announced six-figure monthly losses had partially attributed that to employees being sick and requiring expensive care. He said that wasn’t an issue this month.

“We have not experienced what we did last year, which was a lot of high-dollar expenses on our plan,” Facteau said.

Facteau said MMH received good news from the federal government. Their Medicare low-volume adjustment has been reinstated. That is expected to put another $800,000 in their coffers over 12 months, he said.

At the December meeting, Kerrie French, the president of MMH’s CSEA chapter, expressed concern over the hospital’s leasing a Da Vinci robotic surgery tool. She questioned the hospital for paying the lease at a time when she says staff are being cut.

MMH CEO Robert Wolleben said the tool is being used elsewhere in the region and is bringing in patients who would have gone to other facilities. A statement given to the press at the close of the meeting says the tool “offers patients less blood loss, less pain, shorter hospital stay, and small incisions for minimal scarring.”

On Monday, Facteau said the Da Vinci device is worth what they are paying and they are making “pretty much … what was expected” when the company made their pitch.

He did not report specific numbers.

Wolleben said there is no update in the hospital’s conversion to a non-profit entity. Asset transfer negotiations with the town are ongoing, he said.