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January 30, 2012 | last updated January 30, 2012 1:48 pm

MaineGeneral to cut $5M to offset revenue shortfall

MaineGeneral Health in Augusta has unveiled a cost-cutting plan to shave millions from its budget after it brought in only half of what it expected in revenues so far this fiscal year. Its plans for a new $310 million hospital in the city, however, are unaffected.

The system expected to bring in $4.75 million but generated only $2.4 million, leading it to reduce its operating income by half for the first five months of the fiscal year, the Kennebec Journal reported. To make up the revenue shortfall, the hospital is cutting earned time for two pay periods for all 3,800 employees and three pay periods for senior management, a move expected to reduce expenses by $1.5 million. Earned time can be used for vacation, holiday and sick time. Hospital administrators have also identified ways to save another $3.5 million. In a memo to employees, CEO Scott Bullock said fewer patients are using MaineGeneral, and that the economy, changes in treatment protocol and efforts to redirect some patients to primary care instead of the emergency room have led to the decrease in income, according to the paper.

MaineGeneral said its plans for the new, 192-bed regional hospital will move forward unaffected because the amount of money borrowed is enough to pay for its construction and interest until it opens.

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