Despite loss, Bristol Hospital built up foundation

Published on Wednesday, 7 March 2018 14:41
Written by Lorenzo Burgio


BRISTOL - Although Bristol Hospital and Health Care Group saw a financial loss in fiscal year 2017, it heavily recruited physicians, built new units and renovated existing ones to increase local access and improve services, said President and CEO Kurt Barwis at the hospital’s annual corporator meeting on Wednesday.

Bristol Hospital and Health Care Group Inc “finished fiscal year 2017 with a loss of $6.1 million on $178 million in net revenues,” said Louis Auletta Jr., who serves as the chairman of the hospital board finance committee. Auletta Jr. said a key factor contributing to the loss was “the net impact of the state hospital tax reflected in our hospital statements increased to $3.1 million.”

The hospital is currently projecting a $720,000 loss from the hospital tax for the current fiscal year, Barwis said.

“We took a significant loss that shouldn’t be the focus of what we did in [fiscal year] 2017, except to say that it really did build up the foundation of our future success,” Barwis said.

However Barwis said the hospital has not focused on cutting, slashing or stopping improvements.

“What we have focused on is executing the mission of this hospital, executing the plan, and not worrying about whether we were going to make it or not financially,” Barwis continued. “Our mission is to make sure that people who need care can get care.”

“We had successful physician recruitment in orthopedics, urology, oncology and internal medicine,” Auletta added. “We completed renovations to our diagnostic imaging area on Level C of the hospital and just completed construction of our new Senior Behavioral Health Unit which began last summer.”

Barwis said that the Bristol Hospital Multi-Specialty Group has grown 64 percent since 2013. It gained 39 providers and 57 staff members, which has increased local access to services and created jobs in the communities it serves.

“Expense control, growth in several service areas and strong profitability at [Emergency Medical Services] and Ingraham Manor, provided us the means to continue our investments in growing the Bristol Hospital Multi-Specialty Group and upgrading our facilities and improvements where most needed,” Barwis said.

Bristol Hospital currently has eight family and internal medicine offices, 18 specialty practices, one urgent care center, one patient-centered medical home and six patient-centered specialty practices. The hospital serves almost 200,000 residents across all of its service areas, and has gone 710 days without a serious safety event, Barwis added.

The hospital saw 49,813 patients, and had 179,376 visits in fiscal year 2017, Barwis said. Of those visits, 37,552 were to the emergency center, 23,600 were counseling center visits and 42,183 were to multi-specialty group physician visits.

In fiscal year 2017, hospital admissions were down by 1 percent, emergency department visits declined by 4 percent and surgical procedures were up 9 percent, Barwis said. The multi-specialty group physicians increased almost 15 percent and physician office visits increased by 6 percent, he added.

In the first four months of the current fiscal year, physician office visits have increased by over 13 percent compared to the same period last year, and surgical procedures performed by the physicians increased by almost 15 percent, Barwis said.

Lorenzo Burgio can be reached at 860-801-5088 or by email at

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol, General Business on Wednesday, 7 March 2018 14:41. Updated: Wednesday, 7 March 2018 14:44.