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Budget cuts will have far-reaching impact on NH hospitals

Nashua Telegraph, September 2, 2011

Hospitals across New Hampshire – and certainly hospital staffing – have been wounded by cuts to the state budget that control how medical centers are reimbursed for some services. Cuts have meant a reduction of programs and services while driving up New Hampshire's unemployment figures. The state budget, which took effect July 1, included a cut in Medicaid reimbursement totaling more than $250 million over the next two years. Several hospitals in the state, including Southern New Hampshire Medical Center and St. Joseph Hospital in Nashua, announced layoffs to cope with the dramatic cut in state aid to hospitals. Southern New Hampshire Medical Center will lay off up to 6 percent of its work force and shut a unit that has 60 percent of the city's beds for inpatient psychiatric cases because of funding cuts built into the state budget. About two-thirds of those employees have been laid off in the past few weeks. More layoffs are expected today , said Tom Wilhelmsen, the hospital's president and CEO, and Scott Westover, vice president for strategic management.