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Munroe worries about Medicaid cuts

Ocala, FL - February 20, 2012
Published: Monday, February 20, 2012 at 5:01 p.m.

Munroe CEO and President Steve Purves. Munroe Regional Medical Center is again facing likely Medicaid cuts as both the Florida House and Senate consider across-the-board reductions that would cost the hospital about $3 million a year under either plan.

The state House's $69.2 billion budget for 2012 would include a 7 percent cut to Medicaid payments, leaving not-for-profit Munroe with an estimated $3.18 million less in Medicaid and federal fund reimbursements, according to Florida Hospital Association predictions. That version would cost Munroe competitor Ocala Health System just over $1 million.


   Munroe CEO and President Steve Purves.

A Senate committee version of the cuts would cost Munroe $2.96 million in Medicaid reductions, but would not affect Ocala Health System.

A previous proposal, from Gov. Rick Scott, would have cut $18 million from Munroe.

"It's still not a pretty picture," said Steve Purves, Munroe CEO and president. "A $3 million (cut) is going to have to be dealt with."

If cuts are approved, they would go into effect in July. Munroe recoups about $35 million in Medicaid reimbursements annually.

Munroe logged $3.5 million in pre-audit earnings over expenses in 2011.

Purves said if such cuts are approved by Tallahassee, Munroe would have to make cuts of its own to balance its budget. And nothing would be exempt from the hospital's own chopping block, including employee salaries and services.

And at $3 million in Medicaid losses annually, Purves said, it wouldn't take long before Munroe would soon start showing the signs.

The public hospital is owned by the state-sanctioned Marion County Hospital District and overseen by seven trustees who are appointed by county commissioners. The trustees currently lease the hospital to Munroe Regional Health System, Inc., which is overseen by a 13-member board, some of whose members also are district trustees.

The hospital trustees are exploring leasing or selling the hospital or creating a partnership to generate more money for the health center.

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