Learn more about the steps we’re taking to be here for our patients and our people now and for years to come.
The University of Vermont Health Network – Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (CVPH) has a long and proud history of serving Northern New York. Our team’s ability to navigate an ever-changing health care landscape has been key to meeting the many challenges of being a rural hospital.
As part of the UVM Health Network, we are reshaping health care in the North Country and keeping patients at the center of all that we do. Working together with our network partners, we improve our communities’ quality of life by connecting patients with the right level of care, in the right place, at the right time.
CVPH Today provides an overview of who we are as an organization, our goals for the future and our successes and challenges along the way. Remaining true to our roots, we are committed to taking care of our patients and our people, every day.
We're proud to serve Northern New York's Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties. As part of the UVM Health Network, we’re not just caregivers and staff - we're friends and neighbors, offering expertise and compassionate care, always putting patients first.
Every day, CVPH people come together to care for our patients and each other. Uniting heads, hands and hearts, we work as a team to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those around us.
We recognize the importance of providing our employees a safe and rewarding work environment with ample chances for individual growth and career advancement. We offer flexible scheduling, quality benefit plans, health and wellness programs, educational funds as well as advanced education opportunities including:
- Family Medicine Residency
- Nurse Residency
- Pharmacy Residency
- School of Radiologic Technology
- Nursing students from 3 local colleges and career development program
Always evolving to meet the needs of this community, the next generation of CVPH will rest on our team’s unwavering commitment to our patients and each other.
Updated: 9/22/21 3:00 PM
The pandemic continues to have a major impact in the financial position of rural hospitals across the country, and CVPH is no exception. According to Kaufman Hall report, operating margins for rural hospitals in FY2021 were projected to be 38 percent lower than pre-pandemic levels
CVPH operated at a loss of $7 million in FY2021. There have been signs of improvement, with patients returning in many areas that had experienced significant declines earlier in the pandemic. However, with the continued uncertainty of the virus and its impact on the communities we serve, there is still much work to be done.
“Patients are returning in most areas, and that is helping to prevent us from falling further into the hole financially. However, other areas continue to face volume challenges, as they have throughout the pandemic. We’re seeing that in hospitals all across the country. Although we finished our fiscal year with a significant loss year of $7,020,000, in total over the last seven months, we generated a positive operating margin. While there are significant improvements to take note of, due to the poor start to our fiscal year, we lost seven million dollars for fiscal year 2021 and are continuing to feel the impact of COVID-19 for both volumes and operating costs in 2022.”
- Christopher Hickey, Chief Financial Officer, UVM Health Network -
Alice Hyde Medical Center & Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (Jan. 2022)
Even before COVID-19 arrived in the North Country, our organization struggled financially, despite the great work of our employees and providers. In the five years preceding the pandemic (FY2015 - FY2019), the organization had an operating loss of more than $23 million. In FY2021 we lost $7 million.
The arrival of COVID-19 in the North Country in March 2020 further damaged the already tenuous financial position our organization was in. Through the first 5 months of FY2020, we were on pace to lose $15 million. Though that number was ultimately cut in half to a $7.5 million loss for FY2020, it would have been dramatically higher without the more than $31 million in state and federal aid CVPH received due to the pandemic.
The pandemic continues to reach far and wide, significantly affecting the access of care in every corner of the country. While patients are returning in many areas, the number of visits is still down compared to pre-pandemic levels both nationally and regionally.
- According to a House Pulse Survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 18 percent of people in the United States either delayed or did not get care due to the pandemic in the month of June 2021.
- Based on data from an August 2021 National Hospital Flash Report by Kaufman Hall, Emergency Department visits fell nationally by 13 percent and hospital discharges dropped about 9 percent.
- For CVPH, Emergency Department visits were down more than 8 percent though the first three quarters of FY2021 compared to the same time period in FY2020, and discharges were off by nearly 6 percent.
- At various points throughout the pandemic, patient visits in some areas of the UVM Health Network have been down almost 25 percent.
This national and local pattern could have far reaching public health impacts. According to the CDC, delaying or avoiding medical care may increase morbidity and mortality for patients who suffer from both chronic and acute health conditions. CVPH care teams are seeing this play out across the organization.
Financially, fewer visits overall and longer required stays in the hospital are factors in CVPH's continued operational losses throughout the pandemic. Revenue fell short of budget due to COVID by $20.5 million. This follows the devastating economic impact that began with the first surge of the virus in our region in the spring of 2020. All non-essential surgeries, procedures, diagnostics and physician office appointments were cancelled for nearly two months to help limit the spread of the virus.
During the first surge of the virus in the spring of 2020 in our region, a New York State mandate paused all non-essential surgeries, and procedures to help limit the spread of COVID-19
Through various efforts to adapt to the new health care landscape, tens of millions of dollars in federal aid in FY2020, and another $289,000 in stimulus funding at the beginning of FY2021, we have managed to dramatically cut down on potentially severe losses. However, our organization is continuing to act swiftly to ensure we preserve our ability to provide the care our communities depend on.
We are Not Alone: Health Care Industry Continues to Struggle
U.S. hospitals and health systems continued to struggle at unprecedented levels in 2021, suffering an estimated $54 billion in losses according to the American Hospital Association’s 2022 Environmental Scan. Without relief funds from the federal government, losses in net income would be as high as $92 billion. The same report points to significant increases in expenses in the first three quarters of 2021 compared to the same time period in 2019, before the pandemic, as major factors:
- 20% increase in supply expenses
- 17% increase in total hospital expenses
- 16% increase in labor expenses
According to the AHA, U.S. hospitals and health systems are paying $24 billion more per year for qualified clinical labor than they did pre-pandemic. That includes travel nurse rates jumping more than 200%, with hospitals spending approximately 62.5% more for travel RNs than they did at the start of 2020.
Updated: 1/26/22 12:00 PM
COVID-19 has elevated a staffing shortage to a staffing crisis impacting hospitals across the country. We are actively recruiting and focused on retaining people committed to making a difference in the lives of others.
Recent data and trends offer a glimpse of what we're up against:
- In a survey in early 2021, the American Hospital Association (AHA) found that nearly 30% of health care workers are considering leaving their profession altogether.
- According to the AHA's 2022 Environmental Scan report, 22% of nurses may leave their current position providing direct patient care within the next year.
- The Association of American Medical Colleges projects a national shortage of up to 122,000 physicians by 2032.
- The American Nurses Association reports that more RN positions will be available through 2022 than any other profession in the United States. And the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that 11 million new nurses will be needed to avoid adding to the current shortage, as more than 500,000 veteran RNs are expected to retire by 2022. In addition, the AHA predicts that nationwide, more than 200,000 new RNs are needed each year to meet increasing health care demands and replace retiring nurses.
According to Iroquois Healthcare Association, throughout Upstate New York, Environmental Service and Nutrition Service workers, Respiratory Therapists, Clinical Assistants and Licensed Practice Nurses are in short supply and high demand. As of December 2021, the IHA found:
- Overall average position vacancy rate: 13.5% - almost double the rate at the beginning of the pandemic.
- Upstate hospitals were recruiting for more than 10,000 open positions.
- Vacancy rates for registered nurse positions: 18.3% - triple the rate 6 years ago.
- Update hospitals were recruiting for more than 3,000 registered nurse position openings.
Updated: 2/21/22 11:30 AM
Our goal is to balance the services we provide with the needs of our patients and community. Our history is one of evolving to meet the needs of this region, and we are committed to adapting and finding a new path forward.
While FY2020 was painful for our organization, a poor start to FY2021 put us on track for another tough year. CVPH posted an operating loss of about $7 million. While there have been signs of improvement with more patients returning in some areas, COVID-19 continues to impact patient volumes. The pandemic has also fueled a nationwide staffing shortage (click here for more information on staffing challenges at CVPH, and the UVM Health Network-wide Cyberattack impacted our ability to provide care during the opening months of FY2021.
It is clear that we must move quickly and continue adapting to these challenges in order to preserve our ability to provide the care our communities depend on.
Our immediate response to these mounting challenges has included; aligning resources with patient needs, the consolidation of hospital facilities and a tighter focus on our scope of service.
In March 2021 FastTrack, a service that was seeing an average of 6 to 8 patients a day, was closed permanently. While the repurposing of this space has yet to be determined, we will look to use it in a way that enhances both our patient and employee experience. Patients who require non urgent care will be seen in the main Emergency Department.
Updated: 9/22/21 3:00 PM
Plans are underway to move all of our Rehabilitation Services back to our main campus. This move not only reduces our infrastructure-related expenses, it supports our commitment to building a better experience for our patients and people by creating a single, convenient location and bringing our Rehab Team together under one roof to better support both outpatient and inpatient coverage.
Updated: 9/22/21 3:00 PM
We are looking at opportunities to offer patients convenience while reducing our organization’s footprint and overhead. This includes the re-imagination of CVPH Primary Care by shifting our Adult Medicine practice on Hammond Lane to our Family Medicine Center downtown, which took place in the spring of 2021. This approach offers more convenience, including same day appointments for new and established patients and improves the patient and employee experience by optimizing space and people resources.
As a result of the move, we were able to expand Occupational Health and Wellness to the space at 23 Hammond Lane, increasing our capacity to better support the growing and evolving needs of the area businesses that contract our services. With our COVID-19 testing site also located there, we can better support the testing needs of our community and our people.
Updated: 9/22/21 3:00 PM
The UVM Health Network is creating a common menu of health benefit plan options for all eligible employees, which currently include leaders and confidential staff. Eligible CVPH employees moved to the health menu in Jan 2022, and proposals to transition union employees to the health menu on appropriate timelines have been offered to NYSNA. Discussions with SEIU 1199 and are ongoing. Other Network affiliates, which transitioned to the plan January 1, 2021, have already begun to realize the benefits of this Network-wide offering, as well as the cost savings at both the individual and organizational levels.
Understanding one size does not fit all, our Network plan will offer four different coverage options to eligible employees and provide both competitive health care coverage and flexibility while allowing our team to have some control over their health care dollar.
Updated: 2/21/22 11:30 AM
“These measures are a continuation of work we’ve been doing – before COVID – to stabilize our financial situation for the long term. The pandemic has accelerated the need to act so we can continue to provide the care our loved ones and neighbors depend on.”
- Michelle LeBeau, RN, BS, MHRM, President, UVM Health Network - Alice Hyde Medical Center and Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital
Updated: 9/22/21 3:00 PM
Last year, in response to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we began to redesign our organization to align resources and work differently to secure our future. These initiatives saved approximately $29 million over the course of FY2020:
Freeze on all Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 capital spending with a few key patient care-focused exceptions, such as the Epic electronic health records implementation.
Updated: 10/9/20 3:00 PM
Review and reduction of non-personnel or patient care-related expenses that are not deemed mission critical.
Updated: 10/9/20 3:00 PM
In June 2020, CVPH was approved to participate in the New York State (NYS) Department of Labor’s Shared Work Program as a way to manage through the financial impact of the COVID-19 crisis. The Shared Work Program helped CVPH reduce expenses and keep employees working, ultimately avoiding mass layoffs.
Updated: 9/30/20 2:30 PM
Reimagining CVPH required an organizational redesign that focused on aligning resources with patient volume while remaining committed to providing the care our community needs.
As part of the redesign, 469 people, represented by both NYSNA and 1199 SEIU, from 12 departments were involved in rebidding for positions. The goal throughout the process was to be sure there was work for everyone who wanted it. When, in early Fall, the rebidding process was complete, one person, when offered the option to bid for a new job, bump into another position or opt for a layoff chose to go with the last option.
Meaningful change was called for many months, even years, before anyone ever heard of COVID-19. In mid-March, sustainability plans were in place and progress was being made when the virus first made its appearance.
Our Redesign is helping to put CVPH back on track. While difficult, the Redesign plan helped us:
- To continue to provide high quality care to our community needed today
- Keep as many folks employed as possible
- To be here for the community and each other in the future
Updated: 10/9/20 3:00 PM
On September 1, CVPH announced its decision to permanently close the Wellness & Fitness Center at 295 New York Road. The facility initially closed on March 16th out of an abundance of caution and in accordance with an order by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Since 2012, the Center provided an option for individuals to improve their health and for several local athletic teams and youth groups to play sports. CVPH owns the building, while Power Fitness oversaw programming.
CVPH Wellness & Fitness Center had lost approximately $1.3 million in the last five years. Additionally, the facility faced more than $1 million in infrastructure costs in the near-future for the gymnasium and pool. CVPH has invested more than $1 million in upgrades and infrastructure improvements at the facility over the past 15 years.
Given the impact of COVID-19 and the financial challenges CVPH was facing prior to the pandemic, we felt our responsibility to the community at this time lies in supporting the hospital, our practices and outpatient services.
“Our patients are our top priority, and we want to be certain we can continue to provide the care they need now, and in the future, by ensuring we are focused on those strategies that will allow us to meet our mission. This is why we are focused on our mission-critical programs first. We hope to get back to a place in the future where we can expand that focus.”
- Michelle LeBeau, RN, BS, MHRM, President, Alice Hyde Medical Center and Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital