As part of the countryâ€™s economic recovery plan, Massachusetts just secured a $764 million boost for healthcare services last week, and the Boston Medical Center is said to be getting $80 million for FY 2010. Dorchesterâ€™s Codman Square Health Center and the Dorchester House both rely on BMC for a considerable chunk of their funding.
The hospital is suffering financially as Gov. Deval Patrickâ€™s 9-C budget cuts take effect and state payments meant as a temporary three-year buffer during the stateâ€™s healthcare reform dry up. In 2010, the combined cuts were estimated to be as high as $220 million. Now Patrick and the BMC have agreed that the difference between what the state is paying for services for low-income patients and the costs to the BMC for those services is $173 million.
â€œThe $80 million is a good first step, but we need to go further,â€ said Ellen Berlin, a BMC spokeswoman.
The 1199SEIU is praising the $80 million, which comes in the form of Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) money, but also saying itâ€™s not enough.
â€œMuch of the funding included in Governor Patrickâ€™s announcement today is for previously delivered services,â€ said Mike Fadel, local vice president of 1199SEIU in a prepared statement. â€œWhile the $80 million allocation acknowledges the funding problem created by previous patient care cuts, it is not a complete solution to the $173 million in funding needed to ensure health care access for low-income families and patients at Boston Medical Center.â€