New York hospital faces financial peril without buyer

Massena (N.Y.) Memorial Hospital will receive a $20 million state grant and drastically improve its financial position by becoming part of Potsdam, N.Y.-based St. Lawrence Health System, according to NNY360.

Massena Memorial Hospital CEO David Bender provided details on the hospital's financial situation during a Luncheon Club meeting in Massena on Aug. 19. He said the hospital nearly failed to make payroll in August and was on the verge of closing its doors, according to the report.

"We could either meet payroll or pay off these folks that we need to keep the ER open and the OR open," he said, according to NNY360. "It was one or the other and you can't have that, so the closed sign would have gone on the doors."

The financial troubles prompted the municipal-owned hospital to move quickly to enter into an asset purchase agreement with St. Lawrence Health System. Massena Memorial was awarded a $20 million state grant in July, but the award was contingent on the hospital joining St. Lawrence Health System.

The $20 million grant combined with an additional $8 million investment from St. Lawrence Health System will help put Massena Memorial on a path to financial stability.

"That's $28 million today that we didn't have a month ago," Mr. Bender said, according to NNY360. "I think it's an extremely strong, necessary step forward. This $28 million doesn't solve the problem. We're still losing $1 million a month. That would disappear fast if we did nothing, but it gives us a chance to solve the problem."

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