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Posted inHealth, Money, Politics

Bristol project becomes focus of tensions between state, hospitals

In the latest volley in a longstanding dispute over the financial health of Connecticut hospitals, state budget director Benjamin Barnes on Monday questioned Bristol Hospital’s plans to build a new medical office building and recruit staff, noting that hospital supporters had recently warned that state funding was needed to avoid compromising the community’s health and access to care. The hospital said Barnes was making unfounded accusations and mischaracterizing the situation.

Posted inHealth, Money, Politics

Hospitals say state puts them between a rock and a hard place

As hospital officials describe it, state policy is pushing them in two opposing directions. Higher state taxes and funding cuts have added to the factors pushing independent community hospitals to join larger health systems, they say. But at the same time, legislators concerned about the growth of large health systems have been pushing for new restrictions on changes in hospital ownership, which hospital officials say makes it harder for them to adapt.

Posted inHealth

Hospitals could face larger cut

The governor cut $192 million in Medicaid funding for hospitals last month, but the actual hit to hospitals could end up being 25 percent higher. The state is holding back additional payments that weren’t part of the cost-saving measure, and the governor’s budget office said decisions about whether to pay them will be “based on whether we have enough money to keep the budget in balance.”

Posted inHealth, Politics

Democrats want more oversight on hospital ownership changes

The future of Bristol Hospital is as part of a large network, CEO Kurt Barwis believes. But that vision of the hospital’s future relies in part on the legislature: With the strong encouragement of organized labor, legislators will make expanding the regulatory oversight needed for changes in hospital ownership a top priority this year.