PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – No. 2 Rhode Island hospital group Care New England reported Tuesday its operations lost $47 million in its 2016-17 fiscal year, as it works to close Memorial Hospital and sell its other facilities to Massachusetts’ largest hospital group.
The announcement was not a surprise, as Care New England executives had previously announced they expected to finish the year with a loss of roughly that amount. But it still represents an enormous miss compared with their initial expectations that the not-for-profit hospital system would be $1 million in the black for the fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30.
The hospital system’s operations have now lost about $115 million over just the last two years.
Care New England spokesman Jim Beardsworth argued the news wasn’t all bad, noting the company narrowed its operating loss from nearly $40 million last fall and winter to $6.5 million in the spring and just $700,000 in the summer.
“CNE leadership has been working aggressively to implement stringent action plans focusing on growth initiatives, patient access and care retention efforts,” Beardsworth said in a statement. “It is clear by today’s filing that significant progress is being made but much more work remains.”
Care New England remains in negotiations to sell all its facilities other than Memorial to Partners HealthCare of Massachusetts, though it’s unclear when the two sides will reach a formal agreement on the deal.
The numbers were revealed a day after the R.I. Department of Health held a public meeting on Care New England’s plans to close Memorial. While some elected officials and community members have urged the company to keep the Pawtucket facility open, Care New England executives have insisted its patient numbers are too low and its losses are too high for it to be viable.
Beardsworth noted that Memorial’s operating losses totaled $21.5 million for the fiscal year, more than any other arm of the company. Flagship hospital Women & Infants lost $4.6 million, Kent Hospital lost $3.8 million and Butler Hospital lost $2.8 million for the year, according to the company.
“With the continued focus and diligent adherence to our key plans and resolution of the Memorial Hospital closure, CNE is confident it will continue to build upon the progress displayed recently,” Beardsworth said.Ted Nesi (email@example.com) covers politics and the economy for WPRI.com. He writes Nesi’s Notes on Saturdays and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.