Finances improve dramatically for Pen Bay/Waldo County hospitals

By Stephen Betts | Jan 08, 2018

Rockport — The finances for the organization that oversees Pen Bay Medical Center, Waldo County General Hospital and related health care facilities in the Midcoast improved dramatically in 2017.

The financial statement for Coastal Healthcare Alliance for the 12 months ending Sept. 30, 2017, reported that the organization had $8.5 million more in revenues than expenses.

In fiscal year 2016, the organization had a $1.6 million loss.

MaineHealth said that it did not have a breakdown available on Pen Bay Medical Center and Waldo County individually for 2017. From 2014 through 2016, Pen Bay has lost a combined nearly $13 million, according to the Maine Health Data Organization, while Waldo County General has enjoyed a surplus of nearly $24 million.

The Coastal Healthcare Alliance Board voted 13-6 in December to merge with Portland-based MaineHealth. One of the reasons voiced in support for the merger was to allow the MaineHealth Board to shift resources where needed to support community health care.

MaineHealth oversees hospitals and other health care facilities in the state, with its flagship being Maine Medical Center in Portland. In addition to Pen Bay and Waldo County, the hospitals include Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington, Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway, Miles Campus and Hospital in Damariscotta, St. Andrews in Boothbay Harbor, Southern Maine Healthcare in Biddeford and Sanford, and Memorial Hospital in North Conway, N.H. Maine Behavioral Health is also a member of MaineHealth, as is the clinical laboratory NorDx in Scarborough.

The merger is expected to take effect in January 2019.

The 2017 financial statement for Coastal Healthcare Alliance reported that the organization had operating expenses of $242.2 million with operating revenues of $242.5 million, resulting in an operating surplus of about $300,000.

The organization also reported non-operating income of nearly $8.2 million to bring the overall surplus to $8.5 million.

Coastal Healthcare provided $12.7 million in charity care for 2017. In addition, there was bad debt of $14.7 million. The amount of charity care provided was an increase of $927,000 from 2016.

Salaries and wages for the organization totaled $112.8 million. Coastal Healthcare spent $87.5 million on supplies.

Comments (5)
Posted by: Valerie Wass | Jan 17, 2018 13:42

K, Another bad experience at Pen Bay.

I had to take my father in law to the ER on Monday due to some symptoms that he was having.  He is 94 and I was not taking any chances.  Again, the Pen Bay ER was the most awful experience.  First, it took the girl over ten minutes to register Dad.

She said that she accidentally click too many times and froze up the computer.  There were so many things that made me so very upset with the staff in the ER that day.  They took Dad right in, got him in a room, put a johnny on him, took his vitals, put an IV in and monitors.  We were in there for 2 hours when Dad was gettting extremely agitated.  The family knows what will happen.  I went out to the nurses station and told one of the nurses, not Dad's cause I couldn't find her, that Dad was indeed getting extremely agitated and was going to get up and start pulling things off himself.   The nurse said, "I will be right in".  Never saw her come into Dad's room.  In the meantime Eric and I are trying to keep dad in bed.   Finally another nurse comes in and puts up the railing on the other side of the bed.  Of course, that really didn't help the situation at all.  Too make a very long day short, Eric and I went out of the room to make some phone calls in the hallway.  We were going back in and a nurse came so we all went in.   There is Dad standing up dripping blood all over the floor and his shoes.  Had his Johnny off and was looking for his shirt.  That made Eric and I enraged considering that we had warned the ER staff what Dad was going to do.    Oh, Eric was trying to find the Doctor with no result and no help.  One of the nurses said,
"He is probably with another patient"  Eric said, " My Dad a a mild heart attack and nothing is being done!" We had been at the ER for over 2 1/2 hours.  They did do blood work and a c scan.  The Dr., when he finally came back said, "My priority is the Quality of care for Arnold."   I was so stressed and enraged at that point that I bit my tonque really hard.  Eric and I kept asking them all through this if they could give something to sedate him.  They kept saying no.   The Dr. finally told us that he could give something to Dad to calm him a bit but if he did that, he would have to be admitted.  Eric and I made the choice to take Dad home.  We were at the hospital for over 3 hours and left with instructions to give Dad an aspirin a day.  Which he already takes.  OH, the Dr. and Nurses in the ER knew that Dad had two stints in his heart.  NEVER AGAIN.  Checking into another way of transporting Dad to other hospital in case of an emergency again.  As well as for Eric and myself just in case we need it.  I have started going to Miles in Damariscotta and they are so nice!!!!  I just adore that hospital and the staff.  They are extremely nice!!!!  Fast at setting up appointments also.  No 3 to 4 week waiting period.  Money does not make a hospital a 5 star!  In this case, they may have money but I can say that  the staff I had to deal with in the ER  on Monday was extremely incompetent!


Posted by: Valerie Wass | Jan 09, 2018 11:05

Did you all know that Maine Health is a NON-PROFIT?????????


Posted by: Joseph Steinberger | Jan 08, 2018 19:09

It's time that Maine Health stops getting a pass. We depend on it, but our dependence is bankrupting us. Doctors are being paid $500,000 a year, and they are just loss-leaders for the hospital maw.

We need alternatives, but the hospital monopolists have convinced the legislature ($$$) to allow them exemption from our anti-trust laws.

We deserve our fate, though, wimps and fools as we are.

Posted by: Valerie Wass | Jan 08, 2018 12:28

Hmmm, I doubt that that will improve on the staff at Pen Bay.   I had an endoscopy a few months back.  When I awoke in recovery, the nurse asked me how I was feeling.  I said fine.  She than proceeded to tell me that when they were doing the procedure, I had such a major coughing fit that they ended up "bagging" me.  K, that is scary to hear.  Not only did the recovery nurses, two of them, tell me but the Dr. who did my surgery also stopped by while I was in recovery and told me the same thing.  He said that I would have alittle bit of a sore throat then normal and it would last for two or three days because of what had happened.

I read his report.  "Everything went fine".   NO MENTION OF WHAT HAD HAPPENED TO ME!


Miles will be my hospital from now on unless it's such an emergency that I can't make it there.  Than I will have no choice  but to go to Pen Bay.  UGH!!!!


Posted by: Dale Hayward |

It is called a profit, period.

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Stephen Betts
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Stephen Betts has been covering the news from the Rockland area since January 1982.

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