HealthAlliance's Woodland Pond retirement community lost $18M during 2008-10 period, tax records show
NEW PALTZ, N.Y. — The Woodland Pond retirement community, which is owned and operated by HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley, lost just over $18 million for the period of 2008-10, tax records show.
The news comes on the heels of HealthAlliance announcing it plans to close Kingston Hospital because that facility and Benedictine Hospital, which are jointly operated by the company, lost a combined $10 million in the 2008-11 period.
Income tax returns filed by HealthAlliance and available online show Woodland Pond’s 2008-10 losses totaled $18,007,262. Records for 2011 were not available.
Cynthia Lowe, chairwoman of HealthAlliance’s Board of Directors, said Woodland Pond (the corporate name of which is Kingston Regional Senior Living Corp.) has been open for only a few years and that the sluggish economy has made selling all the units difficult.
Lowe said many of Woodland Pond’s units are marketed to senior citizens who sell their homes in order to move into retirement communities and that the weak real estate market has slowed those sales.
Lowe said she did not know the current occupancy rate at Woodland Pond or the total number of units at the site.
Woodland Pond’s website describes the facility as “a continuing-care retirement community ... (that) offers spacious independent-living apartments and cottages with a wide range of amenities and services available,” including independent living, assisted living, specialized memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitative therapies.
Lowe also said “specialized” accounting procedures used by continuing-care retirement communities tend to result in red ink.
“The nature of the business is always going to show losses,” Lowe said. “It is more based on profits than cash.”
She also said the first unit at Woodland Pond was not sold until September 2009, but the tax records show 2010 being the worst of the three years. Continued...
The tax records show Woodland Pond lost $2,318,818 in 2008, $6,139,723 in 2009 and $9,548,721 in 2010.
David Lundquist, the president and chief executive officer of HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley, could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.
Ulster County Legislator Robert Aiello, who chairs the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee, described the losses at Woodland Pond as another example of poor management by HealthAlliance.
“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.
Aiello said that if Benedictine is not run with good financial practices, it, too, could be forced to shut down, leaving Kingston with no hospital.
HealthAlliance has cited a variety of causes for the financial problems plaguing the hospitals, including declining insurance reimbursements; physicians setting up facilities elsewhere that are taking patients away from the hospitals; a drop in occupancy rates; and the fact that Ulster County is in a federally designated Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) that provides hospitals in the county with lower Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates than hospitals in such nearby counties as Dutchess and Orange.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Kingston Mayor Shayne Gallo, like Aiello, questioned the management abilities of HealthAlliance’s executives. The mayor also said HealthAlliance needs to be transparent with the community about which services now offered at Kingston Hospital will remain and which be eliminated after the hospitals closes.
Gallo has said closing Kingston Hospital will be “devastating,” particularly to the local economy, and he added on Tuesday that its elimination will hurt poor people in Midtown in particular because it will limit their ability to get convenient health care.
Both Kingston and Benedictine hospitals are in Midtown, and they’re less than half a mile apart. Continued...
Asked to comment on Aiello’s call for a new management team at HealthAlliance, Gallo said: “If, after an inquiry by HealthAlliance’s board, it is determined that the management practices of the current HealthAlliance management team have resulted in not being competitive and (having) substantial losses, other than the MSA issue, I would join other elected officials that perhaps action should be taken against those management officials.”
The mayor said that if he ran up such losses as mayor, “I wouldn’t be re-elected.”
On a positive note, HealthAlliance’s tax records show the company’s Margaretville Memorial Hospital, in Delaware County, racked up a profit of $2,327,170 during the 2008-10 period.
Lowe said one reason is that reimbursement formulas for that facility are different than those used for Kingston and Benedictine hospitals.
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