Financially challenged rural hospitals are seeking out partnerships with larger medical centers or making difficult decisions about which services to scale back as they try to keep their doors open. It is a trend that accelerated in 2014 and is expected to continue this year in Western New York.
Of the dozen rural hospitals in the region, nine have an affiliation agreement of some kind with a hospital system in Buffalo, Rochester or Erie, Pa., with two of the hospitals – United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia and Medina Memorial Hospital – forming the agreements in 2014.
Looking ahead, 2015 is an important year for two Chautauqua County hospitals, Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk and Lake Shore Health Care Center in Irving, which ended their partnership last year and now are seeking their own paths to financial stability.
Eastern Niagara Health System
521 East Ave., Lockport, and 2600 William St., Newfane
Founded: 1908 and 1958 respectively
Full-time-equivalent employees: 538
Licensed inpatient beds: 136 at Lockport
Inpatient discharges, 2012: 6,221 at both sites
Revenues, ’13: $69.3 million
The hospital is set to open a new, outpatient Niagara Regional Surgery Center. The $3 million center will offer general and orthopedic surgery, ophthalmology and other specialties at 5875 S. Transit Road, Lockport.
200 Ohio St., Medina
Inpatient beds: 50
Inpatient discharges, 2012: 2,108
Revenues, ’13: $33.3 million
Last June, the network that operates Medina Memorial Hospital and related health care facilities in Orleans and Genesee counties reached an affiliation agreement with Catholic Health System.
224 E. Main St., Springville
Inpatient beds: 24
Inpatient discharges, 2012: 826
Revenues, ’13: $14.8 million
Bertrand Chaffee has been affiliated with Catholic Health since 2011 in an arrangement that leases a cardiologist to the smaller facility three days a week, among other benefits.
United Memorial Medical Center
127 North St., Batavia
Inpatient beds: 131
Inpatient discharges, 2012: 5,001
Revenues, ’13: $79.9 million
UMMC is expected to officially join the Rochester Regional Health System early this year.
Wyoming County Community Health System
400 N. Main St., Warsaw
Inpatient beds: 62
Inpatient visits, 2012: 2,440
Revenues, ’13: $45.3 million
WCCHS, which is operated by Wyoming County, is unusual among the area’s rural hospitals for its public ownership. The hospital since 2012 has partnered with the University of Rochester Medical Center to provide specialty medical services in Warsaw.
529 Central Ave., Dunkirk
Inpatient beds: 65
Inpatient discharges, 2012: 3,141
Revenues, ’13: $43.6 million
Brooks Memorial is going through a strategic planning process as officials there determine what services it makes sense to preserve.
Lake Shore Health Care Center/TLC Health Network
12644 Seneca Road, Irving
Inpatient beds: 35
Inpatient discharges, 2012: 1,780
Revenues, ’13: $38.1 million
Employees and community members have endured months of uncertainty over the hospital’s fate, ever since its operator announced plans to close by the end of January 2014.
207 Foote Ave., Jamestown
Inpatient beds: 317
Inpatient discharges, 2012: 7,778
Revenues, ’13: $96 million
WCA Hospital since 2012 has had an affiliation agreement with UPMC Hamot.
189 E. Main St., Westfield
Inpatient beds: 4
Inpatient discharges, 2012: 115
Revenues, ’13: $11.2 million
Tiny Westfield Memorial has defied the odds in remaining a full-service medical center since 2007.
Olean General Hospital
515 Main St., Olean
Inpatient beds: 186
Inpatient visits, 2012: 5,803
Revenues, ’13: $109.7 million
Olean General and the Bradford Regional Medical Center in Pennsylvania formed the Upper Allegheny Health System in 2009. In a 2013 joint venture, Olean General opened a cardiac cath lab with Kaleida Health.
Cuba Memorial Hospital
140 W. Main St., Cuba
Inpatient beds: 20
Inpatient discharges, 2012: 139
Revenues, ’13: $10.1 million
Cuba Memorial is a “critical access,” not a full-service, hospital. The facility no longer has an emergency room, operating room or intensive care unit, but it does offer 24-hour urgent care, rehabilitation services, physical and occupational therapy and outpatient radiology and lab tests.
• Jones Memorial Hospital
191 N. Main St., Wellsville
Inpatient beds: 70
Inpatient discharges, 2012: 1,948
Revenues, ’13: $35 million
Jones Memorial since 2012 collaborates with the University of Rochester Medical Center.