Care New England shows early signs of financial improvement, but uphill battle remains

Providence, R.I.-based Care New England is showing signs of tentatively improving financial health after reporting a more than $111 million loss in fiscal 2022.

In the first quarter of fiscal 2023 ending Dec. 31, the health system recorded net income of $1.34 million, boosted by improved returns on some of its investments. Operating losses for the period were $13.8 million, lower than the same period in 2021.

The healthcare system, which operates several hospitals with a combined bed capacity of 970, said there is a long battle ahead to mitigate the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on its operations, namely surging labor and supply costs. Care New England has a number of initiatives in place to tackle such challenges, its management said.

"The pandemic and its lingering aftermath effects has put severe stress on the organization," management said. "Overall, the implementation of the action plans for both revenue and expense were severely impacted by the COVID-19 aftermath in 2022 and is continuing in 2023." 

While such action plans were behind schedule, management added, there is some optimism for sustained improvement later this calendar year.

"Management believes the action plans are solid and will gain traction during FY 2023 as monthly business reviews mature," the company said. "Management plans to continue to implement more initiatives targeting growth, access, cost savings, staffing to volume, and retention to stabilize and grow patient activity levels, as well as improve operating results. 

Days of cash on hand at the end of December totaled 45.5. Last week, the healthcare system hired a new CFO, Todd Conklin, the former COO at rival Rhode Island system Lifespan.

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