Healthcare News & Insights

Budget cuts cause hospitals to stop services

Many hospitals are experiencing declining financial health, despite implementing cost-saving measures such as reducing administrative expenses. One reason hospitals point to for their continued financial decline is an increase in under-insured and Medicaid patients. And this group, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, is only going to increase.

To keep from going under, many hospitals are now cutting the services they offer causing community members to travel further for certain services. Here are just a few examples of what some hospitals are cutting to hopefully make ends meet:

  • University of Louisville Hospital — In addition to cutting funding to the University of Louisville, the Kentucky facility also cut its sleep center, eliminated open heart surgeries and reduced the amount of non-emergency services offered to patients without insurance. The cuts total $2.5 million in savings per year and were added to the $5.5 million in cuts is expects to save from previous cuts. However, the hospital says it’s just the beginning — over the new few years it must cut $15 million. Reason: state and city cuts to indigent care.
  • Carthage Area Hospital — This New York facility no longer offers urgent care services at its Evan Mills site. This site now only offers primary care and pediatric services. Reason: The need to streamline operations and align resources to best serve the communities in and around Carthage. Seeing as the Evans mill site was the only urgent care clinic the hospital operated, it was easy to cut to save costs. The facility also said it was going to close some of its school-based health centers, but protest from school district officials convinced hospital administrators to keep the centers open. Instead of closing them, the school-based clinics will be open on a part-time basis.
  • Lenox Hill Hospital — As of Feb. 10, Lenox Hill Hospital, another New York facility, will stop providing the 911 system with paramedics. However, it’ll still provide emergency medical technicians (EMTs), who have less training and generally can’t administer medications. Currently, the hospital provides 10 paramedic shifts to supplement those provided by the fire department. Reason: financial concerns.
  • Windber Medical Center — This Southwestern Pennsylvania hospital stop delivering babies as of March 31. Reason: The hospital is blaming ObamaCare in part. According to hospital officials, the facility can’t afford to provide this services any more based on projected reimbursements under looming federal healthcare reforms. Another reason for the elimination is that the hospital says its obstetricians are either leaving or refocusing their practices, and it wouldn’t be feasible to recruit a new team of obstetricians. While the next obstetrics facility is only 10 miles from Windber Medical Center, it is still a blow to the community and the obstetrics staff at the facility.

Has your hospital made any cuts to the services it offers? Share what cost cutting measures your facility has made in the comments box below.

 

 

 

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