Despite taking a hit from state funding cutbacks last year, Cobleskill Regional Hospital entered 2010 on “positive financial footing,” CEO Eric Stein said during the hospital’s annual breakfast Thursday.
The hospital, which operates on a budget of about $25 million, lost about $336,000 when the state changed Medicaid reimbursement rates in 2009. And Gov. David Paterson’s budget proposal for this year includes cuts and additional taxes expected to cost the hospital $242,000.
That figure includes a reduction in reimbursement the hospital receives when it provides services to people without health insurance, which accounts for nearly 10 percent of its budget.
The hospital saw an increase in patients while funding was cut, but Stein said the 40-bed hospital is able to remain strong due to its affiliation with the Bassett Healthcare network.
“We’ve really made something of it,” Stein told the group of about 145 people gathered in the Bouck Hall Ballroom at SUNY Cobleskill.
The hospital, which teetered on the verge of bankruptcy before the affiliation in 1994, treated 72,373 patients in 2009, an increase of 2.8 percent over the year before, Stein said.
During 2009, the hospital introduced digital mammography services and upgraded computer systems including in the operating room as part of Bassett Healthcare’s systemwide initiatives.
A new pain management program was also introduced, and the hospital dedicated its patient activity room, where patients can play a board game or do some bowling on the Wii entertainment system, Stein said.
The hospital’s financial health is a critical factor in its decision to move forward with the possible creation of a nursing home facility, and the hospital’s board recently approved sending an application to the state Health Department for that purpose, Stein said. Cobleskill Regional Hospital has been studying that possibility since the nearby Eden Park Nursing Home shut down in 2007, leaving the county without a nursing home.
According to the hospital, there were a total of 12,096 visits to the emergency room in 2009. Roughly 23,900 patients visited the hospital’s clinics that year, 34,169 outpatient referrals came in and doctors there performed 1,021 surgeries.