LRGHealthcare improves bottom line to 2% on $220M of income

MEREDITH — LRGHealthcare had its best year financially in several, officials told the organization's annual meeting yesterday evening.
The regions largest health-care provider showed a 2 percent operating margin for the fiscal year ending last September, according to Henry Lipman, senior vice president and chief financial officer.

LRGH's net income for FY2013 was just over $4.5 million. Total revenues for the period were $220.5 million on expenses of $216 million, he noted.
Lipman and Dr. Robert Evans, chairman of LRGH's Finance and Investment Committee, last night gave an overview of LRGH's financial situation to the annual meeting of the organization's corporators held at Church Landing at Mills Fall in Meredith.
Lipman said the 2 percent margin compared to 1 percent for the prior fiscal year, and Fiscal Year 2011 when the company barely broke even. In Fiscal Years 2010, 2009 the health-care provider lost money, he said.
Lipman attributed the improved financial picture to "a lot of little things" which helped to improve the company's bottom line. He noted that the lower number of patients being readmitted to the hospital meant the hospitals — Lakes Region General and Franklin Regional — paid less in penalties to Medicare. He also said that patients had fewer complications during their hospitalizations, which helped to lower costs. In addition, he said that LRGHealthcares participation in the Granite Health Network — a collaborative effort involving LRGH and five other New Hampshire hospitals — helped to reduce other costs.
Lipman said that uncertainty of federal health policies in the future was one area for concern. In particular, he noted proposals to eliminate the higher reimbursements for so-call critical access hospitals, of which Franklin Regional is one. Another proposal to eliminate or reduce certain federal community hospital programs could have an impact as great as $7 million on LRGHealthcare, he said.
On the other hand, Lipman was optimistic that the increased number of people who are expected to be insured under the Affordable Care Act would help the company get reimbursement from patients who until know have not had insurance. He said the number of newly insured patients could be about 3,000.