Let's take a look.
First, the final total for Q4 was $4,268,817, a little less than $500K higher than Q3, about $760K higher than Q2, but more than $1.2M less than Q1.
For the year, there were:
- 806 judgments filed, totaling $16,401,925
- 62 satisfied judgments, totaling $744,492 and
- 44 bankruptcies, adding $1,394,994
The total of judgments plus bankruptcies less satisfied judgments is $17,052,427, some $7.5 million less than 2013's $24,607,933 total and $9.2 million less than 2014's total of $26,305,502.
The number of filings is also down significantly. In 2013, there were 1279; in 2014, it spiked to 1411, and this year there were only 912. I say 'only' knowing that, for the folks included in these filings, there's probably little comfort in knowing that there are fewer people in the same boat with them this year.
Satisfied judgments dropped again this year by just shy of $97,000 compared to last year. In 2013, the number was much higher - $2,447,163. I'd like to see this number starting heading higher, at the same time as the overall filings continue to drop; repayment of debt being a positive sign for our overall sense of well-being and for the actual well-being of the local hospitals.
Speaking of the local hospitals, how did they fare this year?
- Crouse's total of $2,497,979 was down $3,085,456 from last year's total
- St Joe's total, $1,055,099 was $1,766,370 less than 2014
- SUNY's total, $10,740,987 was down sharply - by $7,195,576
- Community's total of $149,278 was up by $31,405
A small portion of the differences stems from a change in methodology. In 2015, I started subtracting the satisfied judgments from the overall totals and from each hospital. In 2014, I was able to make that adjustment in the final totals, but not in the individual hospital totals. Even so, there was a good drop for all of the hospitals this year compared to last - and that's one of the things I've been waiting to see in the tracking.
Whether we've really turned a corner remains to be seen, but the final numbers for this year at least give me a sense of hope.
Here's to a healthy economy and a healthy population in 2016!