Health

Budget cuts could lead to layoffs at UMC

Doctors, nurses and hospital staff at the University of Mississippi Medical Center could face possible layoffs after a reduction in Medicaid funding by $35 million.

According Dr. LouAnn Woodward, Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, there are numerous factors that have contributed to the current financial situation, chiefly among them being a decrease in their disproportionate share (DSH) funding which is received through the state Division of Medicaid. That’s the funding awarded to the hospital for providing care to a large number of Medicaid and uninsured patients.

To help combat the loss in appropriations, UMC is looking to save $24 million over the next four months. The only thing that is not expected to be on the chopping block is bedside patient care.

In an email to employees Dr. Woodward wrote,

“All other measures to meet this savings goal are on the table, including eliminating programs and reducing the size of our workforce. Regrettably, we will not be able to reach our financial goal without some reductions in staffing.”

Along with the $35 million cut, the state legislature recently approved a reduction in funding by $8.2 million toward the hospitals fiscal year budget.

“Achieving this $24 million in savings will not “solve” our problem. The fact is that our revenue sources will continue to be under pressure, so this focus on cost will not end on June 30, 2017. In some ways, this is the “new normal” for us and for other academic medical centers,” wrote Dr. Woodward.

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