Backus continues on healthy financial path

Norwich — The William W. Backus Hospital continued its multi-year trend of financial good health, posting modest increases in total revenues and operating margin for fiscal 2012 as compared to the 2011 fiscal year.

“In spite of a turbulent economy and the harshest fiscal environment the health sector has ever faced, Backus is posting yet another highly successful year in terms of overall performance,” Anthony Joyce, chairman of the Board of Directors, said Friday in a news release.

Total revenues for 2012 were $283 million, about $18 million more than in 2011. It earned a 9.4 percent operating margin of revenues over expenses in fiscal 2012, compared to a 9.2 percent in the previous year. Income from the operating margin will be reinvested in the Backus Health System, the hospital announced Friday.

The strong financial performance came despite fewer inpatient admissions at the 213-bed hospital in 2012 compared to 2011. The numbers of outpatient and emergency department visits, however, rose in 2012.

“The big picture behind generating a sustainable operating margin is to have the ability to make investments in the things that matter,” said David Whitehead, president and chief executive officer of the 119-year-old nonprofit hospital. “They include programs and services that meet our region’s needs.”

The 2012 numbers were presented Wednesday to the board at its annual meeting, which is not open to the public or the press. On Friday, the hospital announced the results in a news release and posted its annual report at www.backushospital.org/2012.

In the past year, Backus has taken steps to affiliate with Hartford HealthCare, the parent company of Hartford Hospital. The move will keep Backus strong as health care reform unfolds, the hospital said. The affiliation awaits the approval of state and federal regulators.

j.benson@theday.com

Backus Hospital 2012 initiatives

Other initiatives during the past year included:
• Opening of the Plainfield Emergency Care Center on July 9, expanding access to emergency care, lab and diagnostic imaging.
• Receipt of awards for progress with electronic medical records.
• Designation as a National Accredited Breast Center by the American College of Surgeons.
• Launch of a new congestive heart failure program.
• Receipt of a silver designation from the American Heart Association for the Backus Stroke Program.
• Use of the Mobile Health Resource Center to offer community outreach in soup kitchens, schools and neighborhoods such as Greeneville.
• Creation of the Center for Cancer Survivorship.
• Relocation of the hospital lab to a location next door to United Community & Family Services, making more outpatient services available in the community and freeing up clinical space at the main hospital.

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