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Charity care cutting into EMH income


ELYRIA - EMH Regional Medical Center`s net operating income for 2008 was down more than $1 million from a year before, and more than $2.5 million from 2006.

Chief Operating Officer Jim Simone said a large portion of the decrease comes from unpaid hospital bills, or what EMH refers to as uncompensated care.

The hospital spent $28.2 million on uncompensated care in 2008, which is up from the 2004 figure of $14.5 million, although Simone said much of that money is used on providing care for charity.

He said that while the loss in net operating income, much of which is placed into reserves for the purchase of new equipment, is substantial, it`s on par with most hospitals.

"It`s absolutely par for the course," he said. "We`re in pretty good shape."

He said the hospital has decided to cut back this year by spending only $6 million instead of $8 million on new equipment to deal with the losses.

Simone`s discussion of the hospital system`s finances came during the 2009 EMH annual company meeting Wednesday afternoon. The meeting, held at the Gates Medical Office Building auditorium, was a kind of state-of-the-hospital discussion for 2008, which was EMH`s 100th anniversary.

Several accomplishments were noted, including the EMH Center for Health & Fitness in Avon being named West Shore magazine`s "Best of the West" for the second year in a row, EMH Regional Medical Center receiving its 11th designation as a 100 Top Hospital by Thomson Reuters - only two other health care organizations in the United States have matched the achievement - and the hospital system earning the distinction of being named a NorthCoast 99 Top Employer for the eighth consecutive year. No other health care organization has been named as many times to the NorthCoast list, which recognizes the top 99 employers in Northeast Ohio.

The meeting also took a somber turn as those in attendance honored former president and chief executive Kevin C. Martin, who died following a battle with cancer in February 2008.

Kevin Flanigan, chairman of the board of Comprehensive Healthcare of Ohio, the parent company of EMH, presented Martin`s wife and children with a plaque honoring Martin`s memory for them to display in their home and one to display prominently in the hospital. He said the hospital lost a great leader and the world lost a great man.

"We`ll miss him dearly," he said.

Contact Adam Wright at 329-7129 or

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