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Hospitals say proposed cuts would force layoffs

Wed, 06/17/2009 - 1:03am
The Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Hospital leaders are telling lawmakers that proposed cuts to Louisiana's Medicaid program could cost 3,700 people their jobs at hospitals around the state.

The state Department of Health and Hospitals' $8 billion proposed budget next year would slice nearly $400 million from the Medicaid program for the poor, elderly and disabled. The cuts would be levied largely on the hospitals and nursing homes that care for Medicaid patients.

The Louisiana Hospital Association says that would mean reductions in services and layoffs of hospital staff.

State Health and Hospitals Secretary Alan Levine has said even with the cuts, the hospitals still would be receiving more money from the state than they did two years ago.

The budget cuts are still under negotiation in the Legislature.

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