Over the past several months, UMass Memorial Health Care has been making many changes in the way we provide care for our patients and our managerial structure with the goal of improving the quality of care we deliver to our patients, and assuring the organizations long term financial health.
These changes are part of an ongoing recovery plan to keep us on track with the rapid changes occurring in health care, including steep declines in inpatient volume and reductions in reimbursements from insurers and government payment programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid.
At department meetings, in blog posts and in hallway conversations too numerous to count, I have asked each and every one of you to help get us back on track by working to improve patient flow, offering same or next day access in your ambulatory practices, to standardize the way you deliver care so we can improve quality and reduce the expenses associated with the care we deliver. Importantly, make a human connection with every patient and family member you encounter so people will choose UMass Memorial Health Care as the place where they receive care.
Our plan as we began this fiscal year was to reduce the $55 million dollar operating loss we incurred in FY 2013. Thanks to your work so far we have made progress toward this goal, but unfortunately, this progress has not been enough and last week we were downgraded by Moody’s Investors Services from a Baa3 rating to Ba1, based, in part, on our immediate need to balance our budget and get back to breakeven. As part of our commitment to transparency I have attached Moody’s report to this note for you to read. In summary, this ratings downgrade requires us to accelerate initiatives that will improve our financial position.
Let me assure you that the short term operational challenges we face today, and the actions that we must take to mitigate those challenges, are just that … short-term. Working together, we will continue to make progress this year which will allow us to start FY 2015 (begin October 1st 2014) in a much better place financially. By implementing your improvement ideas and engaging all of our everyday innovators, we will close the gap between where we are and where we need to be and fulfill our promise of being the best place to give care and the best place to get care.
Thanks for your continued support for this great organization and for taking great care of our patients and one another.