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Rural Hospitals Warn of Severe Consequences from Fiscal Cliff

Representatives from three health care systems in New York’s North Country are warning that there will be severe ramifications to health care if the nation goes over the fiscal cliff.

Officials from the CVPH Medical Center, Adirondack Health and Elizabethtown Community Hospital say proposed health care cuts in the fiscal cliff negotiations would have devastating impacts on rural health care systems. The regional health facilities say they could see 432 million dollars in cuts over 10 years.  That’s in addition to 320 million dollars in cuts from the Affordable Care Act and already adopted Medicare and Medicaid cuts. CVPH Medical Center President Stevens Mundy notes that they have already implemented staff reductions and restructured over the past 18 months. The looming fiscal cliff cuts will lead to service cutbacks.
Adirondack Health operates two hospitals and two nursing homes in the Adirondacks. President and CEO Chandler Ralph says potential cuts to the Sole Community Hospital Funding program coupled with Medicare and Medicaid cuts would cripple rural health facilities across the country.

Nuclear Medicine Technologist Dan Ashline-Beaudet is the chair of SEIU, the employees’ union,  at CVPH.  He traveled to Washington, D.C. on December 11th with other union officials to talk to Congressional representatives.  

The administrators and union representatives want the public to contact Congress to express concerns about proposed health care cuts.