Hospital finances on track for record year
Good thing too, as Windemere sags
As of the end of February, Martha's Vineyard Hospital was on track to end the fiscal year on March 31 with a record-setting profit that would more than double the profit recorded last year.
At the annual hospital board meeting on Saturday, Tim Walsh, hospital chief executive officer, told trustees that the hospital ended February with an operating gain of $1.8 million. If the hospital remains on budget through March, Mr. Walsh estimated it would end its fiscal year with a gain of approximately $1.5 million, more than double last year's $650,000.
"Patient volumes continue to grow," said Mr. Walsh, reflecting growing confidence in the hospital, "and we run a good, efficient operation."
However, sobering numbers from the Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, which began its fiscal year on Jan. 1, tempered the good news at the end of the hospital's fiscal year. In the first two month of the year, the Island's only nursing home lost $50,000 against a budgeted loss of $7,000. The unexpectedly large loss reversed a steady trend of decreasing losses that had accompanied Windemere's emergence from a sea of red ink that had threatened to swallow the hospital-owned institution.
Mr. Walsh said two beds were taken out of service to allow room modifications required by state regulators. Removing the beds resulted into a loss of approximately $18,000 each, he said. "That's the kind of business we are in." said Mr. Walsh. "It is very tight."
Depending on state officials, Windemere could have the two beds back in service by May. But Mr. Walsh said without some sort of state reimbursement, it may be difficult for Windemere to break even.
In the 2003 fiscal year, Windemere lost approximately $200,000. The Island's nursing home ended 2004 with a first-ever gain of $62,755. Martha's Vineyard Hospital net income jumped from $485,354 to $652,231.
It was the first time the hospital and the rehab center, which had sustained heavy losses in the past, each posted a profit.
Last year, Windemere managed to squeak into the black again with a $3,958 profit in 2005.
Mr. Walsh is more optimistic about the hospital side of the ledger. The operating budget for the next fiscal year, approved Saturday by the board, projects a 10 percent increase in expenses and a nine percent increase in revenue.
Also this weekend, the hospital board elected officers and there were no surprises. The board re-elected John Ferguson, seasonal West Tisbury resident and president and chief executive officer of Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, board chairman. The board re-elected Tim Sweet of West Tisbury, vice chairman; Polly Brown of Tisbury, secretary; and Sandy Ray of Tisbury, treasurer.