On Monday, 7/25, 10 hospitals across the state announced their decision to sue the state of New Hampshire over cuts in Medicaid reimbursement. The hospitals report the budget passed by lawmakers in Concord will wreck havoc on the health care infrastructure and safety net in New Hampshire.
“The state has eliminated payments to hospitals that have, for decades, helped people in need of health care services,” said Doug Dean, president and CEO of Elliot Health System. “We are outraged, and we believe that the conduct by the state is unlawful and disregards the extraordinary needs of these people. The impact is enormous, with Elliot receiving $17 million less in the first year from the state,” Dean said.
Catholic Medical Center is reporting a loss of $12 million this year.
James Putnam, Chairman of the Cheshire Medical Center Board of Trustees, said “With passage of its new budget, the state has directly impaired the ability of the hospital to provide access to quality health care for all patients. In addition, important inpatient services may need to be eliminated in order to maintain core services for our community.”
Wayne Granquist, chairman of Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s board of trustees, said in a statement that the budget “fundamentally threatens not only Dartmouth-Hitchcock, but the people throughout the region who rely on us for their health and well being.”
“As a small critical access hospital in New Hampshire, we rely on the support of the larger hospitals for a number of essential services, such as availability of on-call physicians’ services, immediate access to specialists, and a variety of shared services that benefit the people of the Monadnock region. We strongly support the larger hospitals in their efforts to go forward with the litigation. The current budget puts at risk the most vulnerable people across the state and in our local communities, in particular those who have Medicaid coverage. It is also bad for business since it will undoubtedly lead to increased insurance premiums.” notes President and CEO, Peter Gosline.
“Monadnock, along with 11 other Critical Access hospitals in New Hampshire, have chosen not to join this suit at this time,” reports Gosline. “We understand and fully support the hospitals who have joined. Although the budget that was passed provides for the funding of disproportionate share payments to the small, critical access hospitals including MCH, we will not know until later this year whether the State will actually return those disputed funds. We strongly suspect that the budget contains revenue over-estimations –and there are competing priorities for that revenue. Consequently, our portion of these funds, totaling $3.5 million annually, are at considerable risk. At this point, we have no choice but to prepare our upcoming annual budgets assuming we will not receive them. We are concerned their loss will impact the scope of health services in our region and across the state,” reports Gosline.
Hospitals listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit include:
- Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
- Wentworth-Douglas Hospital
- Exeter Hospital
- Southern New Hampshire Health System
- St. Joseph Hospital
- Cheshire Medical Center
- Frisbie Memorial Hospital
- Lakes Region General Hospital
Monadnock Community Hospital is a 25-bed Critical Access Hospital offering medical, surgical and Intensive Care; Obstetrics; Pediatrics; and Mental Health services. In addition, a wide variety of outpatient services are available, including Pulmonary, Cardiac and Physical Rehabilitation; 24-hour Emergency Care; a fully equipped laboratory; and an extensive Radiology department. MCH is blessed with strong leadership and a dedicated medical community that allows us to meet the ever-changing requirements of today’s healthcare environment. As that environment changes, MCH is also committed