Ohio hospitals cutting back

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Dec. 7, 2009

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Seven days before its members were due to pay the first installment on a new, $718 million tax to help the state balance its budget, the Ohio Hospital Assn. released a survey showing the extent of cutbacks among members.

In a Nov. 23 release, OHA said 48% of the 75 hospitals that responded to its survey had laid off staff, while nearly one in five (18%) said they had plans for future layoffs. Two-thirds have not filled vacancies, 37% have reduced or eliminated services, and 12% have canceled or delayed expansion or renovation projects.

About four in five -- 81% -- have cut other costs, such as community benefit spending, employee benefits or wages. The survey showed that 64% of the hospitals that responded to the survey were planning additional cost-cutting measures.

The state said hospitals should get their $718 million back through higher Medicaid rates and rate cuts that were not made because of the tax. But OHA said that, collectively, hospitals would get back only $573 million of that $718 million, a tax it called "salt in an economic wound."

Note: This item originally appeared at

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