By Eric Fleischauer
The term “perfect storm” is overused, but it aptly describes the threats facing Alabama hospitals, the head of the Huntsville Hospital System said.
Looming reductions in federally subsidized health insurance, combined with ongoing cuts to federal payments designed to offset costs associated with the high percentage of uninsured patients, are crippling the state’s hospitals, said David Spillers, chief executive officer of a system that includes Decatur Morgan Hospital, Athens-Limestone Hospital and Lawrence Medical Center.
“We’ll going to continue to treat the patients, so it’s not like we can just reduce the amount of care we’re providing,” Spillers said. “Our cost of providing care is still here. We just won’t have any revenue to cover it.”
“It’s kind of like we’re treading water, and we keep getting more weight put on us,” said Dean Griffin, CEO of Lawrence Medical Center in Moulton. “It’s difficult to manage.”