LHA, MHCNO detail impact of Medicaid cuts
The Louisiana Hospital Association (LHA) and the Metropolitan Hospital Council of New Orleans (MHCNO) say state cuts in Medicaid services will have broad impacts beyond the care provided through the program that serves children, pregnant women, the elderly and disabled.
John Matessino of LHA and Paul Salles of MHCNO, CEOs of the two organizations issued a joint statement (PDF) last Friday on the impact of the cuts detailed early in the week by the Department of Health & Hospitals (DHH).
"We have already begun to see the consequences of the 6.2 percent cuts, which will reduce access to healthcare statewide," the CEOs said. "Hospitals, which had already begun to implement many cost-cutting strategies because of the national economic environment and the mid-year 3.5 percent Medicaid cuts, are making even tougher decisions that will involve their staff, their patients and their communities. Some hospitals have begun to institute hiring freezes, evaluate services and reduce benefits to some employees, and this is just the beginning. In the coming months, as hospitals have ample time to evaluate the Medicaid reductions, we will see even more drastic measures taken to reduce expenses in order to remain solvent."
Matessino and Salles said that the impact of the cuts will also be felt by those with health insurance.
"With the state already paying hospitals below cost for services provided to Medicaid patients, individuals and businesses with health insurance end up paying more through higher insurance premiums to cover the shortfall. If the state continues to cut Medicaid funding, everyone who pays for insurance can expect their health insurance premiums and co-pays to keep rising," they said.
The organizations provided a hospital-by-hospital breakdown (PDF) of the impact of the cuts across the state. They also provided a map (PDF) that details the impact of the cuts in each of the nine DHH regions.
The groups estimate that the latest round of Medicaid cuts combined with the cuts announced earlier in the year will mean a loss of more than 1,900 healthcare-related jobs at hospitals across the state.
Area newspapers carried reports on the regional impacts following LHA briefings. The Alexandria Town Talk story on the CENLA impact of the cuts is here. The Shreveport Times story on the northwest Louisiana impact of the cuts is here. The Advocate story on the impact of the cuts in the Capital Region is here.