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Archive for December 8th, 2005

Readers unfamiliar with Metropolitan New York may not know of the financial woes of Westchester Medical Center here in Valhalla, New York. This is the former Grasslands Hospital which was taken over by the county years ago and in recent years suffered from massive financial problems. We are talking tens of millions of dollar annual deficits here. This has raised the dander of more than a few, given the affluence of the area, and the supposed oversight one would assume a government would give a hospital. It turned out that those in charge were woefully not questionably qualified for the responsibility.
When our daughter was hospitalized at the tender age of 6 weeks with Kawasaki Syndrome (see sidebar) the bill for the ten day stay was almost $45,000.00. This, for a week of children’s Tylenol, feedings & changes from the RNs while they tried to figure out what was wrong and a few days of aspirin and hemoglobin thereafter until she was cured. Tests aren’t cheap, nor is a physician’s time but that added up to $4500 a day. You can’t make a profit on that?
Today on the radio they announced that WMC will be profitable this year.
WESTCHESTER COUNTY: HOSPITAL PROJECTS SURPLUS The board of directors of the financially troubled Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla approved a budget for 2006 last night that anticipates a $22 million surplus, a significant turnaround for the 1,000-bed hospital, which has lost more than $200 million in the past few years. Hospital officials reduced the projected deficit for this year to $30 million from $59 million. But they cautioned that the budgeted surplus was made possible by a one-time infusion of $40 million from the county.
Now, don’t mind me, I just come from a family of accountants and am self employed, so what do I know. But I always presumed profitability to connote that aid would not be needed. It isn’t anything to celebrate. This is like saying that my business will be $25,000 in the black this year because my mother threw me $40,000. What’s worse is that they are going to increase taxes to subsidize these bozos.
That’s just not profitability. If the county can’t run a hospital profitably on its own they need to get out of the hospital business, and soon.

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