The recent announcement of the Governor’s plan to pay off the debt owed by the State to the Hospitals is welcome news to Blue Hill Memorial Hospital (BHMH). BHMH expects to receive around $1.7 million, from revenues earned several years ago.
In the meantime, the Governor also announced his plan to close the State’s budget shortfall. The scenarios proposed by the Governor are to increase the tax on hospitals and to cut payments to critical access hospitals. “For BHMH, these decisions will reduce income by approximately $550,000 – not just this year, but every year,” explains Ed Olivier, Blue Hill Memorial Hospital CFO. “To put this in perspective, this reduction equals about 11% of our MaineCare revenues and 1.5% of all revenues.”
The good news regarding the debt repayment is certainly tempered by the Governor’s plan to reduce critical access reimbursements and increase hospital taxes. “These actions would have significant negative impact on our financial performance and ongoing budgets”, states Greg Roraff, FACHE, Blue Hill Memorial Hospital president and CEO. “We are recruiting a delegation of BHMH Trustees to visit our legislators in Augusta. It is imperative that we take swift action prior to any legislative approval with regard to these state budget cuts.” Roraff also invites local residents to contact legislators to voice their disapproval of these cuts to BHMH’s resources.
As a member of EMHS (Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems), BHMH benefits from the system’s strong lobbying efforts to find a fair and alternative solution to the current proposed reductions in reimbursement.