hospitals from Medicaid cuts proposed by Gov. Bob Taft. Children's hospitals already sustained one round of cuts at the end of last year, said Andrew Carter, president of the Ohio Children's Hospital Association. "Additional cuts proposed in Gov. Bob Taft's budget will mean that Ohio's children, whether covered by Medicaid or not, will face restricted access to high-quality healthcare," Carter said.
Carter said roughly 40% of his member hospital's patients are insured by Medicaid, compared with less than 15% for most community acute-care hospitals. He said the payment freezes, which cut anticipated inflation payments of 3% to 4% through 2005, will cost his members from $20 million to $25 million.
"While this will adversely impact hospitals around the state, there is a special urgency for children's hospitals when it comes to Medicaid because we depend upon it so much more than most other hospitals," Carter said.
"This doesn't mean we'll be closing doors on kids," he said, noting that waiting times will increase and specialist recruiting will be put on hold. "But we will not be able to deliver the same quality of care." -- by Mark Taylor