Cape Cod Healthcare Strongly Supports Press Event Opposing Funding Cuts
(Hyannis, July 14, 2011) Cape Cod Healthcare strongly supports the press conference in Boston today designed to protest Medicare and Medicaid cuts now under consideration as part of the national debt reduction debate.
The press conference – held on the front steps of the Massachusetts State House at 11:00 am today – highlighted the broad opposition in the Commonwealth to any further Medicare and Medicaid cuts. It also advanced efforts to highlight the negative impact such cuts would have on hospitals, patients, caregivers and employees, and sounded the alarm on the serious unintended consequences such cuts would create.
The event featured numerous organizations and leaders from across the health care spectrum joining together to oppose these cuts. The Massachusetts Hospital Association (MHA), 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS), and patient advocacy group Health Care for All joined representatives from the Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals (COBTH), Massachusetts Council of Community Hospitals, Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, Massachusetts Senior Care Association, Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Behavioral Health Association, the Massachusetts Senior Care Association, Association for Behavioral Healthcare, Massachusetts Psychiatric Society, the Organization of Nurse Leaders of MA-RI and the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO). All attended the event and voiced their protests over the proposed cuts.
“Over the next decade, CCHC alone already faces Medicare payment cuts that could exceed $100 million,” said Michael Lauf, President and CEO of Cape Cod Healthcare. “This will hurt us significantly, as it will many other community hospitals. With a high Medicare population and our patient volumes at a plateau, we can’t generate new sources of revenue through growth. We take care of everyone regardless of ability to pay, so further cuts will prove challenging to our financial stability in the years ahead.”
After significant cumulative operating losses from fiscal years 2005--2008, Cape Cod Healthcare is currently in a solid financial position. “But given the vulnerability of our patient population – more than 67 percent of our patients are covered by Medicare or Medicaid – we must be constantly vigilant about preventing losses from occurring again. We have been working very hard to focus on maintaining our solid position into the future. These proposed cuts in Medicare and Medicaid would set us back significantly.”
Statewide, the proposed cuts include deep reductions to hospital Medicare reimbursement, Graduate Medical Education (GME) funding, Medicare DSH funding, and eliminating or capping Medicaid provider taxes. All such funding is critical to the life-saving missions of Massachusetts hospitals and to our state’s coverage expansions. Among other issues, Medicaid cuts would greatly impede the success Massachusetts has had in covering 98% of Massachusetts residents in insurance programs.
Cape Cod Healthcare is the leading provider of health care services for residents and visitors of Cape Cod. With more than 450 physicians, 4,500 employees and 1,100 volunteers, Cape Cod Healthcare has two-acute care hospitals, the largest home health services agency on the Cape (VNA), a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility, an assisted living facility and numerous health programs. For more information, visit Cape Cod Healthcare’s web site at www.capecodhealth.org
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