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Estimates show $9 million surplus, eliminating 2008 county operating subsidy

Buffalo, NY (Feb. 13, 2008) - Erie County Medical Center CEO Michael A. Young today announced that the health system is estimating a $9 million surplus from operations and investments in 2007.

This is especially noteworthy because ECMC experienced an $11 million reduction in federal and state revenue, and a $15 million increase in retiree health-care costs last year.

This is the health system's second consecutive year of generating an operating surplus, and is part of a $39 million improvement in its margin in three years.

"This historic turnaround is a testament to all the physicians and employees at ECMC," Young said. "They have worked very hard to focus on quality patient care. From my arrival here three years ago, I have said that better quality patient care drives financial success. This proves that the two work hand in hand."

"I am also happy to announce to the taxpayers of Erie County that their investment in ECMC has paid off and we will require no county operating subsidy in 2008 beyond debt service," Young added.

Driving the reversal of earlier trends is more patients choosing the hospital and a focus on operating efficiencies and cost savings. Since the new management team took over three years ago, operating revenues and investment earnings have increased by $99 million, or 36 percent. From 2006 to 2007, revenues increased by 12 percent, or $40 million, to total $370 million in a single year.

ECMC also announced its intention to expand its operating room and emergency room capacities in response to its increase in patient volumes and the hospital closures and downsizings elsewhere in the county from the Berger Commission mandates.

ECMC presently serves more than 52,000 emergency room patients annually and is the designated Regional Trauma and Disaster Preparedness Center for Western New York. ECMC has seen a 31 percent increase in operating room procedures and a 7 percent increase in emergency room visits over the past three years.

"This was truly a total team effort and the cooperation and leadership of our physicians and employees have produced phenomenal results," said Sue McCarthy, chief financial officer. "The model we now have firmly in place bodes well for ECMC's future, as well as improved health care in the region for years to come."

NEWS CONTACT: Thomas Quatroche at 716.898.5503 or TQuatroc@ecmc.edu

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