As UNC Hospitals prepares for upcoming state budget cuts, increased Medicaid reimbursements might more than make up for them.
Gov. Bev Perdue presented her budget last month with a proposed 25 percent cut to the UNC Hospitals state appropriation, which will reduce the financial support for charity care.
Also part of her proposal is renegotiating for higher reimbursements for Medicaid-covered patients, which would become final when the budget is passed.
The hospital has been facing financial difficulties, reporting $283 million in charity care expenses and shortfalls in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements for 2010. Officials are projecting $306 million more in uncompensated care expenses for 2011.
A higher Medicaid reimbursement is expected to make up for budget cuts in state appropriations, serving as another way to help UNC manage its uncompensated care expenses, said Chris Mackey, press secretary for Perdue.
“It’s a tough budget year and the governor had to make certain choices,” Mackey said.
UNC Hospitals spokeswoman Jennifer James said the hospital is not surprised by the 25 percent cut in state appropriations.
“We anticipated that UNC Health Care’s appropriations will likely be cut to similar levels as other state agencies,” James said.
State appropriations have generally been on the decline since 2006, she said.