Hospitals’ take on Pa. Gov. Corbett’s budget proposal

(BizJournals) Philadelphia-area hospitals found some things to like, and one major area of concern, in the budget proposal put forth by Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett Tuesday.

“We were pleased to see that the governor’s budget plan for 2013-2014 preserves inpatient hospital payments at current-year levels, including supplemental payments for critical access hospitals, trauma centers, medical education, obstetrics and neonatal services, and other key hospitals programs serving the state’s most vulnerable citizens,” said Curt Schroder, regional executive of the Delaware Valley Healthcare Council of HAP.

DVHC, a unit of the Hospitals & Healthsystems Association of Pennsylvania, is a Philadelphia-based trade organization representing more than 50 hospitals in the five-county region.

Area hospital officials were hoping to see Pennsylvania expand its Medicaid program to provide coverage to more low-income individuals and families, which would reduce the level of uncompensated care medical centers provide.

Corbett said during his budget address that he is not in favor of expanded Medicaid because, while the federal government would cover additional costs early on, the portion for which state taxpayers would be responsible would grow over time, making the expansion “financially unsustainable.”

Schroder said, “Understanding the federal challenges outlined by the governor today regarding Medicaid, the hospital community looks forward to working with the administration and the General Assembly in the coming months to keep hospitals strong and to expand health insurance coverage to additional Pennsylvanians in need.”