Freeman: HealthAlliance lost $18 million on Woodland Pond in 3 years

In the wake of an announcement that the HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley is planning to close Kingston Hospital, the Daily Freeman did some digging around in HAHV's recent tax records. They found a lot of red ink.

The Freeman reports that Woodland Pond, a retirement and assisted-living facility in New Paltz run by HAHV, lost $18 million between 2008 and 2010.

By contrast, HAHV claims that Kingston and Benedictine Hospital jointly lost $10 million between 2008 and 2011 -- a number the group is using as justification for closing a hospital.

Ulster County legislator Robert Aiello is making outraged calls for new management, the Freeman writes:

“I would say that it does not bode well on the people who run it,” said Aiello, R-Saugerties. “It is a blatant example of incompetence. ... It is absolutely ridiculous.”

Aiello suggested HealthAlliance’s management team be disbanded or that another company be sought to run Benedictine Hospital once Kingston Hospital is closed in the next 18 months.

One bright spot in HAHV's finances: The Margaretville Hospital in Delaware County, which according to the story made a profit of $2,327,170 between 2008 and 2010.

[HAHV board chair Cynthia] Lowe said one reason is that [Medicaid and Medicare] reimbursement formulas for that facility are different than those used for Kingston and Benedictine hospitals.

Kingston Times political columnist Hugh Reynolds wrote on July 7 -- before the news of Woodland Pond's massive losses broke -- that the closing of one of Kingston's hospitals is going to be tough:

There was talk of the community gathering together to work out this complex and far-reaching problem.

I don’t think it’s going to go down that way. Having all our elected and community leaders getting in the same boat, much less rowing in the same direction, is a pipe dream. There’s just too much baggage.

More than likely, the state health department is going to say something like, OK, kiddies, we’ve done it your way. You blew it. Now it’s our turn.

We can only plead for mercy.