NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

December 8, 2012

Newburyport hospital ends year $2.3 million in black

NEWBURYPORT — Most large organizations assess their performances at the end of a year, and officials of Anna Jaques Hospital are concluding 2012 with satisfaction.

The hospital, the largest employer in the area with 1,000 employees (730 full-time), concluded its seventh consecutive year in the black with a $2.3 million in profit, institution leaders say. It serves 17 communities on the North Shore and southern New Hampshire, and has about 250 physicians affiliated with its range of services.

The hospital recently completed a five-year capital campaign that raised more than $6.5 million from the community to support $15.8 million in projects.

“We’ve had a good year, and appreciate the community support on a number of our projects,” said Delia O’Connor, president and CEO of the 123-bed facility. “The hospital is dedicated to quality care and patient satisfaction.”

Major projects included an 18-bed all private unit for medical and surgical patients.

It replaced an aging power plant with its Zampell power plant (named for the family) that officials say saves 15 percent in energy.

It also produced a renovated outpatient entrance to allow patients easy access in and out of the hospital within attractive surroundings.

One challenge the hospital is facing is the changing financial environment of the health-care system.

Massachusetts hospitals aren’t responding to “Obamacare” as much as they are reacting to the state’s own health-reform regimen, considered the most progressive in the country.

Though close to 98 percent of state residents have health insurance, medical officials are finding that many citizens are under-insured.

“Deductibles for many patients are higher than they expected,” said Mark Goldstein, executive vice president and chief financial officer. “We have to write off close to $5 million in unpaid bills.

“Since this is a business that runs on a margin of 1 to 2 percent, we are always looking at costs.”

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