News from Monadnock Community Hospital

Monadnock Community Hospital began to re-introduce elective appointments and procedures in May and we have seen a steady increase in our patient volumes.  This is great news for the health and well-being of our patients as well as for the financial viability of our Hospital.  All of our service lines are open and we are happy to be able to provide care that was postponed in March and April. The team at MCH has worked very hard to redesign many of our patient protocols to keep the community and our employees safe as the pandemic continues. For example, we are now scheduling many appointments that had previously been walk-ins, such as laboratory and radiology, to comply with social distancing and spacing of patient visits. We are also learning more every day as to how to employ tele-health visits prior to, and sometimes in place of, face-to-face visits with your physician. Our patients are providing feedback that many of the changes are more convenient and that they feel safe when they come to MCH.  The protocols are necessary but in some cases mean that we cannot see the same level of appointments as we did pre-Covid.

We are seeing approximately 80% of pre-Covid patient volumes and this has greatly impacted our finances.  Originally, we projected that we would lose $20 million for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2020.  We are very pleased to report that our actual loss this year will be in the neighborhood of $7 million.  We anticipate our monthly losses to continue next year when we project a loss of $6 million.  Our ability to fully restore patient volumes depends on having a vaccine available or another way of assuring that the protocols in place are no longer needed.  We are so grateful to our community for their generous support and contributions during this difficult time.  We have received so many gifts from past contributors and people who are donating for the first time.  Every gift is helping us to keep our hospital strong.

As a not-for-profit hospital, our focus is meeting the needs of our community.  We have expanded our surgery program and look forward to giving more patients the option to have their care right here close to home.  We recognize that the uncertain times may cause concern about the future of the hospital, and we want to assure you that our strategy is to maintain all of the services we currently offer.  Our pending combination with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health is still working its way through the regulatory process and we hope the process will be finalized sometime in the next 12 months.  This new relationship, building on our work with Catholic Medical Center, will allow our patients to have access to more specialty services.   

The Bond Wellness Center at MCH has been closed to fitness members since March.  We held a series of small focus groups on September 10th to hear from our members as we evaluate options to get our fitness members back to exercising.  The Bond Wellness Center remains an important part of the MCH mission to improve the health and well being of our community and we are concerned about the health and wellness of our 1,600 fitness members. 

And although our community has yet to see a spike in the number of Covid-19 positive cases, we will remain vigilant and prepared to care for our patients even if our cases increase.  We are following NH Department of Public Health guidelines for testing our patients and have an adequate number of tests to accomplish this.  As a small hospital, we still do not have the ability to do general widespread testing.  Patients can find information about where they can be tested on our website:   Please know that, to assure your and our safety, we maintain a universal face covering policy for all hospital staff, visitors, patients, and others while on campus.

We continue to be grateful for the partnerships in our region.  Our towns, businesses, individuals, and long-term care organizations have done a great job helping us to keep the virus under control.  As we approach fall and the traditional flu season, we are encouraging everyone to get their flu shot as soon as possible.  Flu shots are available at our primary care offices and we will be announcing some flu clinics shortly. 

Thank you for helping us to keep our community safe and keep Monadnock Community Hospital strong as we approach the centennial of our founding in 1923.  Parmelee Drive is a tribute to Alice and Robert Parmelee who gave their home and estate to become our community’s first hospital.  Thanks to years of community leadership and support, we are fulfilling the Parmelee’s desire to have a local hospital to serve our region.