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D-H Employee Bonuses Signal Organization’s Financial Health

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 11/30/2018 11:54:10 PM
Modified: 11/30/2018 11:54:24 PM

Lebanon — Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health and its member organizations will be giving each of their approximately 12,000 employees a $250 bonus this year after reporting a surplus for fiscal year 2018.

In an email announcing the bonuses, which will cost the health care system approximately $3 million, CEO Joanne Conroy said the money is intended to express the appreciation of senior leaders for employees’ work. It also reflects the health system’s positive financial performance, she wrote.

The hospital system, which had an operating budget of $2.02 billion, boasted an operating surplus of $47.5 million in the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2018, according to an annual report to bondholders posted on Nov. 21. That compares with a loss of $7 million in the previous fiscal year.

“While I recognize our journey to becoming a more integrated health system will face challenges along the way, I know we are better together than we could ever be alone,” Conroy said in the email to employees on Thursday afternoon. “In recognition of your efforts and our successful collaboration as a system, we are pleased to extend a bonus check of appreciation to each employee across Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health.”

In addition to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, the health system also includes Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital in Lebanon, Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center in Windsor, New London Hospital, Cheshire Medical Center in Keene and Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire, based in White River Junction.

After D-H posted a loss of $12.2 million in the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2016, it imposed a financial improvement plan including an accelerated freeze of D-H’s pension plan and a layoff of 84 employees, among other revenue-boosting and cost-cutting measures.

Last year’s improved results appear to be continuing in the current fiscal year. Another filing to bondholders for the first quarter ending on Sept. 30 shows a positive operating margin of $20.9 million. That’s up from $14.7 million for the first quarter of the previous year.

That filing attributes the improvement to increases in the case mix index — a measure of the complexity of cases a hospital sees — as well as payment rates, surgical case volumes and an increase in appointments. Another element contributing to the improved financial picture is growth in specialty and contract pharmacy services.

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