Collectively, the three hospitals lost $8 million last year, said Southampton Hospital board chairman Stephen Shapoff, who will serve as the first chairman of the new central board.
Cost savings initiatives contained in the new agreement should stem that bleeding through centralized purchasing, managed care negotiations and streamlining of services, Mr. Shapoff
said.There will be no need for staff reductions at any of the member hospitals, he said.He
pointed to recently negotiated contracts with Blue Cross-Blue Shield and Oxford/UnitedHealthcare Group
, saying that by negotiating together the hospitals' reimbursements will be increased.
In the past, such donations paid for "brick and mortar," Mr. Shapoff
said.Today they pay basics like electrical and heating costs, he
The central board has nine committees studying various methods of cooperating, Mr. Shapoff
said.They are outlining short-term goals they expect can be reached within the next 18 months; medium-term goals that may take five years; and long-term goals that could take 10 or more years.But they want to begin taking steps toward those medium- and long-term goals soon, he
"We're the poster child for the Berger Commission
," Mr. Shapoff
As stand-alone facilities, the hospitals "struggled," Mr. Shapoff
"Together we are a regional resource."Together the three provide services to residents over a 300-square-mile area, have 360 beds, serve 16,000 patients per year and another 60,000 through emergency services, Mr. Shapoff
They employ 2,000 people and generate $1 billion for the economy of Suffolk County, he