Dire news out of Hancock County today as the county's only hospital looks for $6.1M to shore up its budget. From WLOX:
Hospital leaders says they need the bond to finish post-Katrina reconstruction work and to resolve operating issues that have come up due to patients who fail to pay for services.
The CEO declined to go on camera, but in a news release stated they also need the money to make up for decreasing federal reimbursements from Medicaid and Medicare.
"It was almost a sense of shock and urgency," said District 5 Supervisor Tony Wayne Ladner.Hancock County residents are now facing at a possible tax increase to fund the hospital's shortfall.
So let me walk you through this:
- First of all, Hancock Medical Center CEO Craig Cudworth did more than just refuse to go on camera for WLOX. During the special session dealing with Medicaid expansion, Cudworth refused to lobby for Medicaid expansion.
- That same Medicaid expansion, paid for by taxpayers from places like New York and California, would have helped solve the budget problem Hancock Medical now faces. But as we know, Medicaid expansion didn't happen.
- So now, the taxpayers of Hancock County are faced with a potential tax increase to make up the hole in the budget created by "decreasing federal reimbursements from Medicaid and Medicare."
Now, don't think this is a one-time problem, or that it won't affect your local hospital. Bear in mind that the Medicaid and Medicare DSH payment cuts are going to increase in severity going forward. Hancock Medical is just the canary in the coal mine.
Senator Cochran warned us of this, if you'll recall.