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Northern Berkshire Healthcare Emerges From Bankruptcy

Lucas Willard

Northern Berkshire Healthcare, owner and operator of the North Adams Regional Hospital, has announced they have recovered from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

Northern Berkshire Healthcare entered Chapter 11 restructuring in June of last year. Now the parent organization of North Adams Regional Hospital and source of about 575 jobs in North Adams has announced profits and a plan to move forward.

President and CEO of Northern Berkshire Healthcare Bill Frado, Jr., said that the reorganization has saved hundreds from losing their jobs, and the continued operation of the hospital will support a key component of North county economy.

Frado noted that customer satisfaction levels are very positive, and that the organization has scored 100% on their many quality “core measures.”

Northern Berkshire Healthcare will continue with annual debt payments, but will pay a new rate of only 2.25 million dollars per year, down significantly from their previous 6.4 million dollar rate.  

Frado said that the organization is actively pursuing ways to eliminate wasteful spending.

Further steps include more recruitment and retention of primary care physicians and specialists, and possible partnerships with other healthcare providers.

A new agreement with Berkshire Medical Center will provide cardiologists to NBH.

Chief Financial Officer Christopher Hickey said that increasing patient volume is most important.

Northern Berkshire Healthcare, like many health care providers, was hit hard by the recession. In recent years the company has had to take financial hits such as selling its nursing home and retirement facilities at Sweetwood and Sweetbrook in Williamstown and relocating the Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice of Northern Berkshire. 

Dr. Arthur Turton, Chair of the NBH Board of Trustees, said that now the board can focus on bettering services instead of just reducing debt.

Northern Berkshire Healthcare is the largest single employer in North Adams. In addition to the North Adams Regional Hospital and VNA & Hospice Center, the company also operates Northern Berkshire OB/Gyn, Northern Berkshire General Surgery, and Northern Berkshire Family Medicine.