Hospital officials: Budget cuts affect vulnerable patients

Written by The Associated Press | Jan 15, 2016 1:07 AM

(Harrisburg) -- Hospital officials in Pennsylvania say a decision by Democratic Governor Tom Wolf to line-item veto supplemental funds for a few dozen hospitals could impact the most vulnerable patient populations. 

The cuts to the hospitals amount to $17.5 million, which would have triggered another $18.5 million in federal match funds. 

The money would go to 13 critical access hospitals in rural counties, 66 hospitals with obstetrics and neonatal services and six statewide burn care centers. 

Paula Bussard, chief strategy officer for the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, says the supplemental payments support services and hospitals that typically treat a high percentage of patients on medical assistance. 

She  says the cuts create a "financial gap'' for hospitals that receive these payments. 

Wolf spokesman Jeffrey Sheridan says the legislature sent the governor an irresponsible budget that "failed the people of Pennsylvania.''  

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