Press-Republican

Local News

October 20, 2012

CVPH changes patient-care procedures to offset deficit

Move aimed to offset deficit

PLATTSBURGH — CVPH Medical Center will be changing the way it conducts daily operations to help offset financial burdens caused by a changing health-care system.

The first step in that direction, which the administration introduced to staff Thursday, will revise the nurse-to-patient and nurse’s aide-to-patient model of care at CVPH.

The new procedures are directly related to changes in health care that are impacting the hospital’s operating costs.

OPERATING LOSS

The Medical Center’s cost for providing care in 2012 exceeded reimbursements by $3.2 million. That deficit has been partially offset by a federal reimbursement tied into the hospital’s switch to electronic records, but CVPH still saw a loss of $570,000 from operations in September.

“We’re looking at a changing business model,” CVPH President and Chief Executive Officer Stephens Mundy said as he met this week with the Press-Republican Editorial Board.

The $3.2 million operating loss came on quickly and is a product of several factors that created a “perfect storm,” he said, including physicians linked to the hospital breaking off into private practice, a federal penalty that reduces the hospital’s reimbursement amount and changes in local and national health care that result in fewer patients.

REDUCING ADMISSIONS

The Adirondack Medical Home initiative, which is designed to provide more comprehensive continuity of care for patients as they move from hospital to home following discharge, is developing services that mean fewer people need to be admitted to CVPH, Mundy said.

For instance, pediatric admissions to the hospital’s Emergency Department are down 18 percent because patients are triaged through an automatic answering service when parents call a local pediatrician’s office, eliminating cases that do not really need emergency care.

FEWER RETURNING

Also, the Medical Center is seeing a decrease in patient re-admissions following discharge because of two major factors.

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