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NBH emerges successfully from Chapter 11 reorganization
Jun 05, 2012

(June 5, 2012) Northern Berkshire Healthcare announced today it has emerged from Chapter 11 reorganization, completing the process that began in June 2011.
“This is a great day for Northern Berkshire Healthcare and the thousands of people who rely on us for their healthcare needs,” said Bill Frado, Jr., President and CEO.  “We appreciate the support of our community, vendors, staff and physicians – support that was essential to our success. We are a healthier organization, and we are looking forward to many more years of providing healthcare in the northern Berkshires.”
“We are proud to be a part of this community and work hard every day to ensure access to the care you deserve,” said Arthur Turton, MD, Chair of the NBH Board of Trustees.  “A special note of thanks goes to the local vendors who have been our partners throughout this process.  We encourage the community to support these outstanding small, local businesses whose patience and support helped us succeed.”
As part of the plan of reorganization NBH will see lower annual debt payments of $2.25 million, reduced from $6.4 million per year.  “A rough comparison would be that of a household reducing its mortgage payment,” said NBH Chief Financial Officer Christopher Hickey.  “The new debt structure is one we can manage.”
Frado and Turton credited NBH employees and medical staff members for focusing on quality of care through the process. “We have improved our quality scores and patient satisfaction ratings in the last year,” said Frado. “That’s a real testament to the commitment of our staff, and they have the thanks of the Board and management team.”
“During the Chapter 11 process, we actually saw patient satisfaction scores increase,” added Frado. “We were named a Top Ten performer in Massachusetts based on satisfaction rankings in the last quarter of 2011. We also hit 100% on what are called ‘core measures,’ a set of about two dozen quality indicators that hospitals track to be sure they are providing the best care.”
Though the reorganization addressed the fundamental financial challenges facing Northern Berkshire Healthcare, the organization continues to take steps to assure healthy operations in a cost-sensitive environment.  Those steps include:
·         Continued recruiting and retention of primary care clinicians and specialty physicians
·         Steps to maintain patient volume
·         Specific programs to continue quality improvements and improved patient satisfaction (a criteria for reimbursement in several insurer contracts)
·         Limiting cost growth and assure that resources are focused on patient care
·         Considering opportunities for partnership with other healthcare providers
“This is a proud moment – for our Hospital and our community,” said Frado.  “Together, we were able to preserve a critical healthcare resource.  At the same time, we must also be looking forward and assuring that we are doing the types of things to stay financially stable in an increasingly complex healthcare environment.” 
Northern Berkshire Healthcare is the parent corporation of North Adams Regional Hospital, the Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of Northern Berkshire, and Northern Berkshire Healthcare Physicians Group.  NBH employs approximately 575 people in full and part-time positions and is the largest employer in the city of North Adams, with an annual payroll of approximately $34 million.  NARH was opened in 1885 and the VNA & Hospice has its roots in a visiting nurse organization created in 1911.  Northern Berkshire Healthcare Physicians Group includes Northern Berkshire OB/Gyn, Northern Berkshire General Surgery, and Northern Berkshire Family Medicine.


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