Loss of state funding could mean big cuts at HCMC

Faced with massive cuts in state funding, HCMC officials are finalizing the proposed cuts they’ll need to make, says the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

Says the Journal:

Programs in jeopardy of being trimmed or phased out include medical education, behavioral health, its burn center, hyperbaric medicine used to treat carbon monoxide poisoning and poison control. HCMC also is considering whether its clinics should stop treating uninsured patients from outside Hennepin County.

“We can’t afford to be everything to everybody,” said Arthur Gonzalez, HCMC’s CEO.

At the end of the legislative session in May, Gov. Tim Pawlenty cut the state’s General Assistance Medical Care health insurance program for the poor. HCMC and Regions in St. Paul are most affected by the cut, because they are the regions primary safety-net hospitals.

The cuts will cost HCMC $43 million in 2010 and $50 million in 2011.

Gonzalez, who took over as HCMC’s CEO in July, told the Journal that none of the budget choices are easy. And they could affect local businesses because HCMC plans to seek more money from private insurers, who will then pass on the cost to customers, the Journal said.

“We will look to our commercial contracts for more money to offset this. We will negotiate with the insurers, and part of the reason for payment increases, more than inflation, will be what the state programs are doing to us,” said Larry Kryzaniak, HCMC’s chief financial officer.

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 09/28/2009 - 04:12 pm.

    Pawlenty could be impeached for committing a crime — and many Minnesotans believe he is guilty of a whole bunch of crimes. His crimes are just against basic morality, however, and not against the law. Too bad.

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