Southcoast Health turns $30 million operating deficit in 2014 into approximate $5 million surplus in 2015

Non-management employees receive equal shares of $1.2 million performance payment

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – Southcoast Health has achieved a remarkable financial recovery by turning a $30 million operating loss in fiscal year 2014 to an approximate $5 million profit in fiscal year 2015.

In reports that will be filed in mid-November, Southcoast Health states that revenues rose 11 percent to more than $985 million. Southcoast Health achieved this mark despite an increased number of snow days, restructuring charges, the $100 million cost to implement Epic – the new electronic medical record – and expenses for training for industry-wide coding changes.

In a letter to employees on Oct. 27, President & CEO of Southcoast Health, Keith Hovan, announced that a $1.2 million performance payment would be distributed among all non-management employees as a thank you for their efforts contributing to “a stronger health system and for improving patient care.”

Hovan called the past year “one of the most significant in Southcoast’s history,” while pointing out that the not-for-profit organization “faced considerable challenges and was presented with tremendous opportunities.”

Southcoast Health – which operates St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford, Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River and Tobey Hospital in Wareham – saw significant revenue gains by optimizing its investment in the Southcoast Physicians Group, which brought world-class physicians to the South Coast region resulting in a more acute case mix.

While the organization was rebounding financially, patient satisfaction continued to see significant improvement throughout Southcoast Health. The three emergency departments have all achieved excellence over the past year, according to the Press Ganey, an independent medical reporting firm. The emergency department at Charlton Memorial Hospital has had consistent performance for three years, while the St. Luke’s Hospital emergency department has enjoyed an upward trend in patient satisfaction this past year. Also performing at excellence were RNs in the Tobey emergency department, oncology services and Visiting Nurse Association.

“We have seen a steady improvement in the quality of care we provide throughout the organization,” said Hovan. The most recent evidence of this was Southcoast receiving recognition in 24 categories from Healthgrades, an independent resource for healthcare consumers. Healthgrades named Southcoast one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Care for the fifth year in a row.

“Be proud of the many achievements you have individually and collectively contributed to – I am exceptionally proud and deeply grateful to all of you for your dedication and sacrifice,” Hovan wrote in the letter. “On behalf of our Boards of Trustees – and most importantly on behalf of our patients and their families – I want to thank each of you for all that you do to make Southcoast Health a recognized leader in all aspects of healthcare.”