PROVIDENCE, R.I.--Three of Rhode Island's 14 acute-care hospitals weren't compliant with the state's charity-care standard and seven weren't compliant with its uncompensated-care standard, according to a state Health Department report published Dec. 14. The noncompliant hospitals aren't likely to be penalized because the standards have been deemed "less than optimal" and the state is drafting new uncompensated-care guidelines, which are scheduled for discussion in a public hearing in January, the report says. Overall, the Rhode Island hospitals reported $103.1 million, about 5% of total patient revenue, of uncompensated care--which includes bad debt, charity care and Medicaid shortfalls--in 2004. Charity care, defined as uncompensated costs that hospitals never booked as receivable, accounted for $21.5 million. And bad debt, defined as billed costs that were never collected, accounted for $52.2 million.
GREAT NECK, N.Y.--North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System laid off 152 employees and eliminated an additional 187 open but budgeted jobs. Approximately one-third of the employees were in management positions and about five were psychiatrists, spokesman Terence Lynam said. The system offered 35 employees other positions at its facilities. The layoffs are expected to save some $20 million annually and were taken to make sure the system "remains in pretty good financial shape," Lynam said. North Shore-Long Island Jewish earned $27 million on $3.7 billion in revenue in 2004.
NEW YORK--Montefiore Medical Center is undertaking a $250 million construction and renovation project that includes new construction to consolidate certain specialties at the 1,003-bed hospital. The project will create new patient rooms, private labor-and-delivery suites, specialized pediatric operating rooms, and new facilities for treating cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other related illnesses. The project is expected to be completed in late 2006 and includes the conversion of one building into a radiation oncology center and another into a cardiovascular and diabetes treatment center. Funding for the projects will come from a variety of sources, officials said.
MONTCLAIR, N.J.--Two New Jersey systems, Atlantic Health and St. Barnabas Health Care, said last month they were discussing the future of Atlantic's struggling Mountainside Hospital in Montclair but stopped short of saying a merger or acquisition was in the works. In a joint statement, the systems said they were engaged in discussions "with the objective of determining how Mountainside may best serve its patients, its employees and the local community." An Atlantic spokeswoman said the system has been working to reverse losses at 261-bed Mountainside for some time and has had some success. "One of the recommendations from consultants was we need the cooperation of the medical staff and that has been difficult to achieve," she said.