NEWARK, N.J.-Executives at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and East Orange (N.J.) General Hospital have signed an agreement to affiliate. Through the affiliation, the hospitals intend to reduce supply and equipment costs, participate jointly in professional education programs and expand inpatient and outpatient programs and services. No savings estimate was given. The agreement includes plans to expand the maternity services at 238-bed East Orange and to encourage the hospital's patients to take advantage of services at 548-bed Newark Beth Israel, such as its nurse midwife-operated birthing center.
LOWELL, Mass.-A New York bond-rating company downgraded a $78 million revenue-bond issue of Saints Memorial Medical Center late last month to B from BBB-, reflecting a slide in revenues and prospects that it won't generate enough net revenues to meet legal obligations. The facility's chief executive officer, Daniel O'Connor, M.D., resigned late in April, and a hospital-turnaround firm is running the operation. Fitch Investors Service, in its downgrading, noted that even though the 351-bed medical center had budgeted flat for the first quarter ended Dec. 31, 1993, the $21.6 million in operating revenues for the quarter fell 16% short of that conservative figure. The center had 14 days cash on hand as of Dec. 31, and legal agreements require it to generate cash flow that's at least 10% above what would be required to meet debt service payments, which total almost $5 million for fiscal 1994, said Michele Cebron, assistant vice president for Fitch. She said it's likely the institution's cash flow will dip under that required level by Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. However, it does have $6.4 million in reserve for debt repayment and is current on monthly payments, she said. The Hunter Group of St. Petersburg, Fla., was brought in two months ago to implement a turnaround plan and to provide interim management for the medical center, formed Oct. 1, 1992, with the merger of St. Joseph and St. John hospitals. The Boston office of Coopers & Lybrand has been hired to seek merger opportunities with area institutions.