MT State Cuts Disproportionately Hit Missoula’s Community Medical Center
The state of Montana’s rush to fix a projected budget shortfall resulted in a number of health care related cuts. Notably, a cut to the Medicaid reimbursement rate led to headlines this week about Kalispell Regional Healthcare losing 6.6 million dollars. In Missoula, Community Medical Center CEO Dr. Dean French says his hospital is facing almost identical cuts, even though it's less than half the size.
"Our cuts in terms of dollars are essentially identical," French said. "Proportionately, the cut to our facility is quite a bit larger based on the volumes that we serve, that's because Community Medical Center takes care of a disproportionate share of Medicaid eligible patients. We focus on women and children's care, adult rehabilitative care, brain injury patients, severely disabled patients, and they are very Medicaid dependent."
French says Community Medical Center is still trying to figure out how to make it through the year with the cuts.
"Because of when this special session occurred in late November, the full impact of the cuts wasn't really available to us when we built our budget for 2018," French said. "In fact, we did not budget for this amount of reduction. We are in the process of really looking at all of the aspects of our operation, trying to see how we can be more efficient and get through the year in reasonably good shape. It is challenging."
After the regular legislative session Community Medical Center crafted a budget in expectation of two million dollars in cuts, however, after the Governor called a special session the cuts for Community more than tripled.