Telegram & Gazette Article

Like most health care organizations, we borrow money from time to time to build new buildings or purchase expensive equipment needed to take care of our patients by selling bonds to investors and promising to pay the money back with interest. Every quarter (three months), we update our bondholders about our financial condition as a way of assuring them that we have the capacity to pay back the money we borrowed.

For the past year the updates have not been very reassuring; however, our most recent quarterly report covering April, May and June was mostly good news. Click on this link to see an article printed in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette on Saturday, August 2 about our report to bondholders.

Below are the highlights:

The good news

In the first 9 months of the fiscal year (October 1 to June 30, 2014) we lost $6,448,000 from our core operations (operating margin) compared to a loss of $45,202,000 a year ago.  More importantly, we have had a positive operating margin in April, May and June even after we subtract the $15,800,000 from selling 30% of our ownership in Fairlawn Rehabilitation Center.  We still have a loss for the year, but are doing much better and now have a positive trajectory.

In addition to contributing to our year-to-date financial improvements, your creative ideas improved the quality of the care we deliver by reducing ED boarders by almost 25%, raised patient satisfaction scores, opened access through our 855-UMASS-MD line and substantially improved revenue cycle performance. Thank you!

The bad news

Inpatient admissions continue to decline.  For the 9 months ending June 30, 2014, we discharged 37,845 patients compared to 40,264 for the 9 months ending June 30, 2013. The model of health care is moving away from inpatient care and we need to remain focused on adapting to these changes and restructuring the organization to position ourselves for the future.

Despite the decrease in inpatient discharges and an overall reduction in the size of our workforce, we have added 173 nursing positions at the Medical Center. These new nurses join a skilled staff that is committed to making UMass Memorial the best place to get high quality, safe care, every day.

As health care changes, so must the jobs we all do. We all need to be prepared to reinvent ourselves to meet the changing needs of our patients. I recognize that a sense of employment security is a primary concern of all of you. As we continue our restructuring efforts, I will do my very best to keep people who want to stay with UMass Memorial employed with us as long as you are willing to reinvent yourself and shift between jobs or change how you do your current work to meet the changing needs of our patients.

We have been through a lot together the past year and I hope you all know how much I appreciate your efforts and sacrifices.

Thanks for taking great care of our patients and one another,

Eric

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