MetroHealth requests no increase from county despite rising demand for charity care
Updated Tuesday, November 8 at 8:36 a.m.
Yesterday MetroHealth asked Cuyahoga County Council to continue subsidy funding at the current level — $36 million — for 2012 and 2013, despite increased demand for charity care.
MetroHealth President and CEO Mark Moran explained that the county’s need for a medical safety net is more significant than ever, with Cleveland being the third poorest city in the U.S. and a rising number of suburban residents living in poverty.
Moran told county officials that a swift upturn in charity care demands this summer required immediate action to cut expenses and ensure viability of the health system. This required MetroHealth to stretch resources and revise plans, including:
- Reducing staffing levels while maintaining quality patient care
- Reducing discretionary spending
- Launching inpatient short-stay units
- Expanding MetroExpressCare (urgent care) and ED capacity
- Consolidating long-term care/skilled nursing
- Investing in outpatient network growth
- Refinancing debt
- Renegotiating contracts with vendors
Obtaining a Medicaid waiver is central to the 2012-2013 budget plan. The waiver would be matched by MetroHealth’s $36 million subsidy and leverage approximately $64 million in additional federal Medicaid funds. It would be implemented using MetroHealth’s Partners in Care medical home, the first patient-centered medical home program for the uninsured in Ohio. Partners in Care establishes ongoing relationships between patients and their personal primary care teams. Patients enrolled in the program have shown promising improvements in management of chronic medical conditions.
The goal is to submit the waiver application early in 2012.
MetroHealth is working responsibly toward a sustainable future including:
- Continuously improving the quality of medical care through process and technology upgrades
- Increasing efficiency of care delivery by redesigning outpatient operations and creating short stay units
- Shifting care to outpatient settings by expanding the network of convenient, efficient satellites and increasing the depth of care offered at each
- Renewing the main campus