Glens Falls Hospital will lose an estimated $739,000 in revenue under a new round of state budget cuts, according to a statewide industry organization.

Saratoga Hospital will lose an estimated $316,000, while Moses-Ludington Hospital in Ticonderoga will lose an estimated $46,000, according to the Health Care Association of New York State.

More frustrating than the cuts themselves is the state's piecemeal budget process, leading to uncertainty about whether further cuts could be just ahead, said David Kruczlnicki, president and chief executive officer of Glens Falls Hospital.

The state has previously cut funding for hospitals six times over the past two years, as state officials dealt with budget deficits, he said.

Meanwhile, the Legislature has not yet adopted a budget for the fiscal year that began April 1, leaving open the possibility of even more cuts.

"The scary part is this is just the first pass," said Andrew Cruikshank, chief executive officer of Fort Hudson Health Services Corp., which runs a nursing home and other programs in Fort Edward.

The Legislature, late on Monday, cut $775 million in health care funding as part of a bill that extended last year's state budget through June 14.

Cuts to hospitals included reductions in payments for charity care and the "Doctors Across New York" physician recruitment program, as well as elimination of an inflation adjustment.

The latest round of cuts - if that's all there is - should be manageable for Glens Falls Hospital, as hospital officials had planned for about a $1 million cut in funding this year, Kruczlnicki said.

It is not yet clear whether Fort Hudson will have to reduce staffing or cut back hours to absorb the cuts, Cruikshank said.

Eliminating the inflation adjustment alone will reduce funding by about $150,000, he said.

The nursing home faces other cuts, including elimination of a payment for keeping beds available when nursing patients are hospitalized temporarily, he said.

Area legislators all voted "no" on the budget extension bill, in part as a protest of the state budget process.

State Sen. Elizabeth Little, R-Queensbury, has been routinely voting against the temporary spending measures because she is concerned with the lack of public negotiations to reach an agreement on a new state budget, said Daniel Mac Entee, the senator's spokesman.

"That wasn't happening. So staring in May, she decided that she could not vote to continue to enable this process to continue. So she has been voting no," Mac Entee said.

"It's all smoke and mirrors behind closed doors," said Sen. Roy McDonald, R-Saratoga, referring to the budget process thus far.

McDonald also voted against the budget extension bill.

The state has been operating on temporary budget extensions since the start of the fiscal year on April 1.

Local Assembly members said they voted against the latest bill because it establishes a spending plan without determining revenues.

"I'm searching for an analogy and the closest thing I can think of is being a college graduate going out and buying a car and a house when you don't know how much you're going to get paid," said Assemblyman Tony Jordan, R-Jackson.

Jordan said the bill does have some good provisions, such as maintaining highway aid for municipalities.

But the negative aspects outweigh the positive aspects, he said.

"This is the second time the governor has given us a bill that actually puts a piece of the budget in place, but we don't know how we are going to fund it," said Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward, R-Willsboro.

The bill legislators voted on Monday evening extended the previous budget, but also established a new spending plan for health care.

A previous temporary budget extension bill established a new spending plan for state parks and environmental conservation.

McDonald said, while the budget situation looks bleak, he sees some encouraging signs.

Senate members have agreed to pass bipartisan-supported legislation to require insurance companies to provide coverage for diagnosis and treatment of autism, he said.

The bill, expected to come up for a vote on Wednesday, has the support of 42 of the 62 Senate members, he said.

(5) comments

frank1

It is interesting to see that many of those who voted "no" received campaign money from SEIU.

Doubter_2

It is nice to see that our local representatives see the "emergency budget extensions" as useless shams that just prolong the budget process. Personally I think it is time the voters of NYS felt the pain of not having a budget. The governor is trying to do this but in doses that are too small. Force the voters to feel some real inconvenience (Ex: close the motor vehicle offices... local and online) then the legislators will hammer out a budget knowing angry voters will never put them back in office for another term. Most of us right now are disgusted... but not really inconvenienced or truly angry!

EnoughIsEnough

Enough is enough, more and deeper cuts MUST be made across the board. NY has an almost $10B deficit and all non-esstential programs must be cut, welfare must be cut.

Runzwit_Scissors


If they are going to reduce staffing, or cut back hours at Fort Hudson, they need to start with administration; too many chiefs and not enough indians. Not trying to be politically incorrect; I'm just saying. Or here's an idea, istead of hiring some college kid to mow the lawns in the summer, have someone who is already in maintenance do it.The nursing home already has its hands full with staffing the nursing hours as it is. Does this mean more absenteesims, and mandated shifts for nursing on the horizon, because of job burnout due to cuts? Let's hope not.

common sense

You have really got to applaude our government, first the
federal gov. gives free insurance to everyone then our state
government takes money from the hospitals ? And Obama says he's for the working people, now I know why ? Because the ones working will be paying for all this!

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