Via Christi cites pay­ment cuts as it scales back staff, cap­i­tal projects

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - —Adam Ruben­fire

The leader of Wi­chita, Kan.-based Via Christi Health says the sys­tem will have to make sig­nif­i­cant cut­backs be­cause of de­creases in re­im­burse- ment from Medi­care, Med­i­caid and pri­vate in­sur­ers.

Via Christi has ab­sorbed over $25 mil­lion in an­nual re­im­burse­ment cuts from gov­ern­ment and pri­vate pay­ers since 2013, sys­tem CEO Jeff Korsmo said in a memo ob­tained by Mod­ern Healthcare. The state’s fail­ure to ex­pand its Med­i­caid pro­gram also has left the sys­tem with more than $28 mil­lion in lost rev­enue over the past two years, he wrote.

“Our fi­nan­cial pres­sures have been in­ten­si­fied be­cause of the re­fusal of Gov. Sam Brown­back and the Kansas Leg­is­la­ture to ap­prove ex­pand­ing the KanCare Med­i­caid in­sur­ance pro­gram for the poor and vul­ner­a­ble,” Korsmo said.

The sys­tem has al­ready cut 110 full­time equiv­a­lent em­ploy­ees over the past 18 months, but still fell $3.3 mil­lion short of its bud­get for in­come from re­cur­ring oper­a­tions through the first two months of the year. It’s now look­ing at re­duc­tions in man­age­ment po­si­tions and sus­pend­ing some cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­tures as it halts dis­cre­tionary spend­ing for ed­u­ca­tion, meet­ings and sim­i­lar ex­penses.

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