Spitzerís budget cuts would hurt CMH

NORWICH Ė As it stands, reports say Governor Eliot Spitzerís executive budget would cost Chenango Memorial Hospital over $3 million during the next five years, putting the facility into a tight financial squeeze, CEO Dr. Drake Lamen said.

ďThis is not a good thing for us and the community,Ē said Lamen. ďIt would have a negative effect if it were to go through as it stands ... it basically wipes out our bottom line.Ē

According to the Healthcare Association of New York State, the governorís plan would cost CMH $645,000 next year and just over $3 million in the next five years. In that same time, New York state hospitals would lose $2.5 billion, the HANYS report claims.

Spitzerís goals are to streamline the Medicaid enrollment process and to expand Child Health Plus coverage to provide health insurance for the stateís uninsured residents, 400,000 of which are children. To do so, he proposes to cut-back state Medicaid reimbursements, which Lamen said cover 10 to 33 percent of a normal hospital bill.

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