Connecticut hospital executives called on the General Assembly on Tuesday to prevent $63.4 million in new cuts to state Medicaid payments to their health care facilities.
Jennifer Jackson, president and CEO of the Connecticut Hospital Association, said the reduction would lead to a $130 million decline in federal reimbursement. Coupled with the cuts already in the new state budget, the additional reduction could cause employee layoffs at various hospitals, Jackson predicted.
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Dr. John Murphy, CEO of the Western Connecticut Health Network, questioned whether the reductions were "well thought-out," adding how services will shrink and many needy people will be adversely affected.
Last week, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's office announced it is planning more than $102 million in budget cuts to keep the new $20 billion budget in balance. Malloy's budget director said recent stock market losses have cut into state revenues.
Senate and House Republicans joined hospital officials on Tuesday in calling for a special legislative session to address the state's budget situation.
Democratic House Speaker Brendan Sharkey said a special session makes "no sense," given Malloy's authority to make mid-budget year cuts. However, he said lawmakers will monitor the budget and have the ability to reverse the reductions in the new regular legislative session, which begins in February.