Governor's proposed budget dramatically cuts funding to hospitals
Employees asked to contact legislators
Yale New Haven Health System is asking employees to contact their legislators and ask them to oppose the Governor's proposed budget, which dramatically cuts funding to Connecticut hospitals and imposes a hospital tax increase and hospital payment reductions that would cost our health system more than $100 million per year.
The proposed cuts, which are in addition to significant cuts made to hospitals in the last state budget, would have an impact on Bridgeport, Greenwich and Yale New Haven hospitals' ability to sustain access to a wide range of services to patients.
Most of the proposed cuts come from a reduction in reimbursement for the care of patients insured throughout the state's Medicaid program. Today, the state pays us about 58 cents on the dollar of costs, such that we lose 42 cents on the dollar for every Medicaid patient we serve. The proposed cut would particularly affect Yale New Haven Health System, which cares for more Medicaid and uninsured patients than anyone in the state. As a safety-net hospital that cares for the most Medicaid patients in Connecticut, payments to Yale New Haven Hospital alone would be reduced to approximately 40 cents on the dollar and cost, resulting in a negative impact of more than $85 million.
In addition to cutting payments for Medicaid patients, the proposed budget increases an existing tax that was imposed on hospitals several years ago. At the time, the tax was used to secure federal matching dollars and the state pledged to return a portion of the dollars collected from the tax back to hospitals. The state reneged on that and put that portion of the federal match into the state's general fund. With this new proposal, the tax would increase from $349 million to $514 million, and the formula produced by the state once again doesn't return it, net of the federal match, to the hospitals.
With our employees' help, YNHHS has been very proactive at managing these cuts in the past through an aggressive cost and value initiative and the savings achieved through the Yale New Haven Hospital and Hospital of Saint Raphael integration. We will continue to try to find savings moving forward, but the level of these new cuts threatens the ability to care for patients.
Employees can help. YNHHS employs more than 20,000 people who live in nearly all of the 169 Connecticut towns. The governor's budget must pass through both the state Senate and House of Representatives, so health system leaders are urging employees, their families, friends and colleagues to contact their elected officials to ask them to oppose the governor's budget. Legislators need to hear from employees directly on how these cuts can impact the care we provide every day in our hospitals.
We are making it easy for people to contact their elected officials. The health system has established a special "Take Action" page on the health system website, where employees can create letters to email directly to their state representatives and senators. If you feel comfortable, you are encouraged to personalize the email.
"We believe it is important that our elected officials understand the great work our employees do every day for our patients," said Marna Borgstrom, president and CEO, YNHHS. "Writing your legislator will take only minutes, but it could make all the difference in the world."