Calais Regional Hospital to Suspend Rose Room Services

By Lura Jackson

 

As part of its process of regaining financial stability, Calais Regional Hospital has announced that it will be suspending the costly operations of the Rose Room on May 1st, with a review of the possibility of resuming them in the fall. The Rose Room provides infusion services to approximately 1.4 patients a day.

“We had to pull back from offering the service because of the upfront cost of medications,” explained Dee Dee Travis, VP of Community Relations at the hospital. In a release from the hospital, the upfront costs of infusion medications are described as being sometimes more than $14,000 per patient.

Travis emphasized that the decision was not easy to make. “Every service we have, even those with a small amount of patients, we don’t take these decisions lightly.”

All patients that received services through the Rose Room will be directed to an alternative treatment source by the hospital.

The suspension comes at a time when the hospital is working fervently to restabilize itself following continual losses stemming from a low Medicare reimbursement rate, the high costs of temporary staffing, bad debt, and free care. Last year it closed the loss-producing obstetrics unit, a move that prompted significant outcry in the community but which was necessary for the hospital to continue its daily operations, according to CEO Rod Boula.

While the hospital received temporary relief when the Veteran’s Administration recently paid some of its most outstanding balances following pressure from legislatures, assessing the financial merit of each service line is a necessity for the hospital to remain open. The suspension of the Rose Room is directly related to that. “We’re continuing to work on evaluating all of our service lines,” Travis said. “Every single thing needs to be looked at.”