It’s the top issue of the 2012presidential campaign. It’s the number one source of stress and worry forcollege students, older adults and everyone in between. The poor economy.

Hospitals,often viewed as pillars of their community’s economic base, are certainly notimmune to the effects of a recession. To help gain some perspective on how PAHis fairing in the current economic climate, What’s New sat down with PAHChief Financial Officer Frank Anastasi FHFMA, MBA.

WN:     Howdoes PAH stand in regards to its current renovations and constructionprojects? 

FA:      We’re currently in the second year of ourfour-year, $61 million Master Facilities Plan. It’s all systems go as wecontinue to progress on schedule with construction of our new outpatientfacility, Penn Medicine Washington Square – slated to open by the fall of 2013– and the Private Room Initiative to convert Pennsylvania Hospital to allsingle occupancy patient rooms by 2015.

WN:     Sohow’s the hospital doing financially?

FA:      In FY ’12 we didremarkably well, particularly considering that wewere down in surgery admissions. Despite this, we still hit our overall targetsdue mostly to efficiencies generated by our excellent managementteam.  We flexed our labor force to best accommodate fluctuationsin patient volume.  Our main objective is to manage ourresources efficiently so to ensure that we have the staff we need to take careof our patients.

WN:     Whichdepartments or services are showing particular strength?

FA:     Obstetrics continues to grow steadily, even as overallnational birth rates are on the decline. We were also right on target with theprojected Emergency Department volume. And while over all inpatient volume wasdown, both CyberKnife and Gamma Knife patient volumes have exceeded target.

WN:    Whatlies ahead for the hospital in the coming year?

FA:    While overall patient activity is down for the first quarter ofFiscal Year 2013, I fully expect us to meet this challenge head on.  It’san exciting time for the hospital, one of change and growth. We’re currentlystriving for a more balanced portfolio. While we’re working to stabilizecurrent physician practices, we’ve also recruited new physicians – 39 in all –into departments all throughout the hospital including major services linessuch as Cardiovascular Medicine, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Obstetrics andGynecology, Orthopaedic Surgery, Radiation Oncology and Urology.

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