WINSTED, Conn.-Winsted Memorial Hospital's board of directors in late April approved a plan to shut down inpatient services, avoiding possible bankruptcy. Winsted's low inpatient census and a $2.3 million burden imposed by the state's uncompensated-care pool tax forced the board to take action. The hospital plans to phase out inpatient services, build a separate ambulatory-care center and convert the existing hospital into an assisted-living facility over the next three years, said James Sok, president of Winsted Memorial. The 72-bed hospital currently staffs only 30 beds; its inpatient census has dropped to about 10 per day, from 18 patients per day a year ago. Winsted lost $800,000 in inpatient services last year, Sok said. The hospital's board of directors will finalize its financial and operational plans within 60 to 90 days.
PITTSBURGH-Hospitals in western Pennsylvania are losing money on patient care for the first time since the early 1980s. A survey by the Hospital Council of Western Pennsylvania showed that 79 hospitals had operating costs higher than their revenues even though inpatient admissions and lengths of stays have decreased. Hospitals also are laying off employees. In 1992, there were 74,915 full-time hospital employees working in western Pennsylvania. Last year, there were 67,196. Hospitals are still making money when investment income is considered. When that isn't enough to cover losses on patient care, cash savings must be used. In the last half of 1995, one-third of western Pennsylvania hospitals had to dip into cash reserves. Analysts said some hospitals won't have enough business to survive on their own if these trends continue.-Associated Press
LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J.-Anthony P. Caggiano Jr., M.D., a leader in the nationwide fight against short maternity stays, was elected president of the Medical Society of New Jersey, succeeding Louis L. Keeler, M.D., at the 9,500-member society's annual meeting on May 1. Caggiano, an obstetrician/gynecologist from Glen Ridge, N.J., and assistant professor at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, is past president of the Essex County Medical Society and the New Jersey Obstetrics and Gynecology Society. Pushed by Caggiano and the state medical societies, New Jersey last year became the second state in the nation, behind Maryland, to pass legislation mandating minimum 48-hour hospital stays for vaginal deliveries and 96-hour hospital stays for Caesarean-section births.