Business News

CNE lost $5.8M over the winter as Women & Infants struggled

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Care New England said Wednesday its operations lost $5.8 million during the winter quarter as its flagship hospital, Women & Infants, struggled with declining demand for its neonatal intensive care unit.

The news comes as Care New England engages in a public fight with its local rival, top hospital group Lifespan, over CNE's plan to be acquired by Boston-based giant Partners HealthCare, the parent of Brigham & Women's. State regulators are still reviewing the proposed transaction.

Despite the red ink in the winter quarter, Care New England said it lost slightly less money in the first six months of its fiscal year than it expected. Just over $2 million of the losses were attributed to continuing medical operations on the old campus of Memorial Hospital, which was closed due to financial challenges in 2017.

Women & Infants' finances are heavily impacted quarter-to-quarter by the performance of the neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU, and Care New England executives called the hospital's second-quarter loss "significant." Still, they have previously noted that lower use of the NICU is a positive to the extent it signifies healthier infants, even if it harms the not-for-profit company's bottom line.

"Our focus remains firmly on operational improvement plans including quality, access, and financial performance,” Care New England President and CEO Dr. James Fanale said in a statement. "Health care is a volatile industry but we continue to aggressively assess, implement, and amend our turnaround plans to meet these demands head on."

"We believe with this sharp focus and the commitment of all those here at CNE, we will see further improvement and achieve our overall budget," Fanale added.

CNE's other two hospitals — Kent and Butler — were profitable in the three months ended March 31.

Ted Nesi (tnesi@wpri.com) covers politics and the economy for WPRI.com. He is a weekly panelist on Newsmakers and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook


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