Missouri hospitals cutting jobs, capital spending
Missouri hospitals have eliminated about 1,000 positions and put a hiring freeze on more than 2,100 vacant positions in the past six months, the state hospital association said last week while pushing for an expansion of the state’s Medicaid program.
The Missouri Hospital Association said its members also have canceled or delayed more than $100 million in capital improvements, and some hospitals are now considering where to pare back services such as oncology or hospice care.
The association said the cutbacks are in response to federal funding cuts, high costs of treating the uninsured and changing hospital utilization patterns by patients.
Hospitals have teamed up with the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry to support an expansion of Medicaid eligibility to thousands of lower-income adults, which would bring in billions of additional federal dollars under the terms of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
They contend that the additional federal Medicaid money is needed to stabilize the hospitals’ finances.
Chamber President and CEO Dan Mehan said the hospital job reductions are the start of “a very real and dire trend.”
“We’re starting to see medical deserts created in parts of the state,” added Herb Kuhn, president and CEO of the hospital association.