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Lifespan, Care New England reports quarterly losses

PROVIDENCE — Still grappling with the stress of the pandemic, Lifespan, Rhode Island’s largest health care system, reported another quarterly loss. The same goes for Care New England, the state’s second-largest system, which also continues to grapple with the impact of more than two and a half years of COVID.

“Lifespan reported a net loss of $49 million for the third quarter ended June 30, 2022,” David Kirshner, the system’s chief financial officer, said in a recent press release. For the nine-month period ending June 30, 2022, operating loss was $69.5 million and net loss was $142 million.

According to Kirshner, Lifespan’s five hospitals, like their counterparts across the country, “continue to face financial challenges. [a] labor shortages, increased cost of supplies and overall inflation, and lower than average patient volume, including due to a decline in elective surgeries and pandemic-related bed closures.

“The impact of these issues has been somewhat mitigated by US Government funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) ($22.9 million), but we anticipate that this level of support is unlikely to continue. “said Kirshner. “Furthermore, the vast majority of our incremental costs relate to outside factors over which Lifespan has limited control and we are unable to unilaterally increase rates with health insurers or the federal government to address these. losses.”

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“We have put in place a recovery plan to deal with the impacts of COVID. This includes building our talent pool, hiring additional staff, reducing our reliance on contract labor, continuing our efforts to improve operational efficiency and throughput, and resumption of elective surgeries.

The main entrance to Kent Hospital.

Care New England, meanwhile, posted an operating loss of $31.6 million for the nine months to the end of June, with a net loss of $39.5 million. Like Lifespan, it received funding from ARPA — and instituted what it calls an “action plan” aimed at achieving financial stability.

According to spokeswoman Raina C. Smith, it “addresses many issues, including reducing reliance on high-cost premium labor, improving patient access and experience and maximizing operational efficiency”.

In July, Care New England announced that the funds it will receive from the new state budget will enable it to remain independent.

Rhode Island Hospital

Care New England operates three hospitals: Kent in Warwick, and Women & Infants and Butler, both in Providence. Lifespan operates five: Rhode Island, Hasbro Children’s and Miriam in Providence, Bradley in East Providence and Newport on Aquidneck Island.

The latest financial reports follow February’s rejection of a proposed merger by Lifespan and Care New England, with Brown University set to be the academic partner.

Health care ‘in crisis’

Kirshner ended his remarks with a stark warning.

“Rhode Island’s healthcare system is in crisis,” he said. “We need the support of business, community and state leaders at this critical time who share our goals of maintaining great care and jobs in Rhode Island.

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“Investments in our healthcare system will allow us to take care of our community and remain a strong economic engine for our state and be prepared for future waves of COVID or another public health crisis.”