Decision Expected By End Of Summer On Massena Hospital's Future

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A decision on whether Massena Memorial Hospital becomes a private not-for-profit medical facility or remains municipally-operated could come by the end of the summer.

The hospital is bleeding financially and could be bankrupt in 18 months according to a financial report.

Despite writing off over $600,000 in bad debt in early spring, the hospital lost nearly $126,000 in June and is running more than $2 million in the red.

Union officials have suggested a three year wage freeze and health insurance changes to avoid privatization.

Town Supervisor Joe Gray says the hospital could eventually affiliate with another hospital but only if it gives up its municipal status and privitizes.

"It seems unlikely that any small hospital is going to survive without some affiliation with a large hospital and that complicates our situation because it's next to impossible legally to combine a public hospital with a private hospital," said Gray.

Hospital, town and union officials met privately Tuesday afternoon to discuss alternatives to privatization and impacts on the hospital's 400 workers.

Friday, October 24, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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