When Kurt Barwis took over as CEO of Bristol Hospital in 2006, the 134-bed not-for-profit institution was bleeding red ink and in need of a new direction. So Barwis, a long-time hospital and one-time technology executive with a deep finance and accounting background, helped institute plans to diversify the hospital's business lines, recruit more doctors and redo contracts with commercial payers to ensure the hospital gets more accurately compensated for the services it provides. So far, things appear to be working out. But as talks about hospital mergers and affiliations become increasingly more common across the country, particularly for small community hospitals that have little to no access to the bond markets, Barwis said Bristol Hospital is beginning to weigh its options. He said the institution's board of directors has been talking closely with the medical staff over the last month or so about the future of the hospital.