Strickland recently proposed assessments of about 1.3 percent of a hospital’s operating expenditures, which he said would raise an estimated $598 million in the next two-year budget.
That drew responses from representatives from the Ohio Hospital Association (OHA) and some hospitals making dire predictions.
The Cleveland Clinic said it will be forced to cut more than 400 jobs if that fee stays in the budget. In a survey of members last month, the association found that 35 percent plan to lay off additional employees in the next six months, and 42 percent have already enacted salary or hiring freezes.
When Strickland’s proposal first saw the light of day, President and CEO of Southern Ohio Medical Center Randy Arnett said SOMC won’t be as hard-hit as some facilities if the proposed budget passes.
“We get back 40 cents of every dollar we’re taxed,” Arnett said. “It won’t hurt us as bad as some other places because we have a higher rate of Medicaid patients. But it does affect us. If you equate it (the assessment amount for SOMC) to cost-cutting, if we had to lose $1.8 million in our organizaton, that would be 40 full-time employees.”
In proposing the fee, Strickland was quick to add that hospitals would receive about $187 million back through Medicaid reimbursements, leaving them with about a $411 million net loss.
Budish proposed a higher fee in exchange for larger Medicaid payments to the hospitals.
Budish recently told the OHA, which represents 174 Ohio hospitals, and approximately 330,000 employees, that increasing the fee from what the governor suggested would result in a gain of $200 million for hospitals.
Strickland spokeswoman Amanda Wurst said the governor is interested in hearing more about Budish’s proposal.