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NH hospitals say cuts will have regional impact

Seacoastonline.com, August 1, 2011

For months New Hampshire hospitals have been warning that cuts to Medicaid would have a significant impact on services they provide. The extent of those cuts is slowly starting to come into focus. As a last-ditch attempt to stop the cuts from being implemented, 10 hospitals recently filed suit against the state claiming Medicaid cuts in the recently enacted state budget violate the federal Medicaid Act by providing insufficient payment to them and their doctors to treat Medicaid patients. Some cuts proposed by the hospitals would impact not only their regions but the entire state. Exeter Hospital officials recently disclosed reductions they are considering, which include eliminating its Medicaid contract entirely, closing facilities, cutting funding to state programs and staff reductions. Dartmouth-Hitchcock in Lebanon, which consists of Dartmouth Hitchcock Clinic and Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital, is estimating a loss of $95 million as a result of cuts in uncompensated Medicaid services and not being reimbursed on the Medicaid Enhancement Tax, according to the hospital's affidavit supporting the lawsuit.