Bankruptcy filing won't impact Community Health Systems patients: CEO

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Shelly Birkelo
Wednesday, May 7, 2014

JANESVILLE—The bankruptcy filing by Community Health Systems of Wisconsin won't affect the organization's patients, Executive Officer Richard Perry said.

Community Health Systems offers same-day, income-based health care services for the whole family.

The system has four clinics in southern Wisconsin, including Janesville, where the nonprofit organization contracts with Mercy Health System physicians to provide services for patients at Mercy Clinic South on Kellogg Avenue. It also has facilities in Beloit, Racine and Darlington.

Community Health Systems faces a deficit of nearly $1 million, but Perry said he hopes the March bankruptcy filing will allow it to get back on solid financial ground.

"We feel very confident we'll be able to overcome the financial situation we're in right now. By filing, it will give us a little break with our vendors--suppliers of medical equipment and services--until we can restructure our financial stability and rebuild our cash flow," he said.

"In the past four years, we have received no increases in (federal) funding," he said.

The situation was aggravated by high unemployment in Beloit and Racine, where the uninsured population grew from 7 to 25 percent, Perry said.

Community Health Systems' four clinics serve 20,400 patients today.

To rectify the financial problem, Community Health Systems took steps to control expenses even before filing for bankruptcy, he said.

"We reduced our number of medical suppliers and staff by eliminating 25 positions over the past 18 months to around 110 employees today, created efficiencies by using technology and reduced expenses without cutting services or programs to the patients we serve," Perry said.

No more job cuts are expected, he said.

The bankruptcy process takes six months to one year.

"We're on target for benchmarks for cash flow from now until the end of the year, which is my goal to resolve all of our (financial issues) by then," Perry said.

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