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AMC loses $227k in state budget cuts

June 15, 2010
By CHRIS KNIGHT, Enterprise Senior Staff Writer

SARANAC LAKE - Health care cuts included in the budget extender package approved by the state Legislature last week will cost Adirondack Medical Center $227,000 in the 2010-11 state fiscal year.

Hospital officials say they were expecting the cut, but that doesn't mean they're happy about it.

"It's the type of thing we always plan for, especially from the state," said AMC Communications Manager Joe Riccio. "For years, health care providers have been doing more with less, and now the governor is basically telling us to do less with less."

Frustrated by the lack of progress on a new budget, Gov. David Paterson included $775 million in cuts to Medicaid and other health care programs in the emergency spending bill lawmakers approved June 7 in order to keep state government operating.

Riccio said the cut to AMC will all but wipe out the roughly $220,000 in revenue the hospital was expecting to have on hand at the end of its budget year in December.

"Obviously we'd like to have that money to reinvest in programs, services and new equipment, but the cut from the state certainly diminishes any possibility of that," Riccio said.

The cuts to AMC were spread across several programs, but the biggest reduction is a $173,000 cut in indigent care reimbursements from the state, according to a news release from the Healthcare Association of New York State.

HANYS said the cuts included in the budget extender will have a $300 million impact on hospitals across the state in the current fiscal year and will cause job losses and reduction of services.

Other hospitals in the region affected by the cuts, according to the HANYS release, include Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital Medical Center in Plattsburgh ($375,000), Alice Hyde Medical Center in Malone ($126,000) and Elizabethtown Community Hospital ($62,000).

HANYS President Daniel Sisto said this is the seventh time in two years that funding to health care providers has been cut.

"Health care providers have done more than their fair share in shouldering the burden of resolving the state's fiscal woes," Sisto said in the release. "State leaders need to understand that any additional cuts and taxes will translate directly to more layoffs, loss of critical health care services, and the closure of health care institutions."

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Contact Chris Knight at 891-2600 ext. 24 or cknight@adirondackdailyenterprise.com.

 
 

 

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