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April 21, 2014 Reporter's Notebook

Almost half of region's hospitals post red ink in FY '13

The state's chief hospital lobby announced last month that the industry shed 1,400 jobs and saw their collective operating income fall by $175 million in 2013 thanks to Medicare and state funding cuts as well as a new provider tax.

Now, new data posted by the state Office of Health Care Access, sheds light on which hospitals were the biggest losers.

In Greater Hartford, nearly half of the region's hospitals posted operating deficits in fiscal 2013, led by a $10.5 million operating loss by Connecticut Children's Medical Center. In fiscal 2012, Connecticut Children's operating loss was far lower: $688,420.

Windham Hospital, which operates under the Hartford Healthcare banner, had the second largest operating deficit in the region at $8.8 million, followed by Hartford, UConn's John Dempsey, and Johnson Memorial hospitals, which saw operating losses of $4.9 million, $4 million, and $3.2 million, respectively.

Hartford Hospital's $4.9 million loss represented the largest performance swing; a year earlier it had an operating surplus of $52 million.

Across the state, Connecticut's 29 acute care hospitals had a combined 3.28 percent operating margin, down from 4.81 percent a year earlier.

Only two hospitals in the region — Rockville General and Bristol — actually saw their operating margin improve last year. Rockville, which belongs to the Eastern Connecticut Health Network, posted a $3.3 million operating profit and 4.47 percent margin. Independent Bristol Hospital earned a $1.3 million operating profit and a 1.02 percent margin.

The state's best performing medical center was Norwich's Backus Hospital, which posted an 8.85 percent margin on a $25.3 million operating surplus.

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