Connecticut officials said they would increase Medicaid rates for about five hospitals in danger of defaulting on state-backed bonds. The five hospitals, which officials would not identify by name, "are on shaky ground and in danger of defaulting -- a very clear signal" of a looming financial crisis for the hospitals, said Julie Cammarata, a spokeswoman for the state's budget chief, Marc Ryan. Cammarata added that the transfusion isn't meant to be a permanent fix but "to help (the hospitals) get through the year." The Connecticut Hospital Association has reported that the state's 31 hospitals collectively posted a deficit of $16.2 million in the first three quarters of the fiscal year. The state aid "points out the fundamental problems of the healthcare reimbursement system, where the costs of providing care are outpacing the payments received from Medicare, Medicaid and other payers," said Jennifer Jackson, the trade group's president and CEO. "What we need is a comprehensive approach to ensuring the financial viability of hospitals." -- by Cinda Becker
Conn. plans one-time bailout for several hospitals
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