Lourdes warns commissioners about proposed budget cuts
PROSSER,WA-The chief executive officer of Lourdes Health Network says the governor's proposed budget cuts would put the hospital "under water."
John Serle Tuesday told the Benton County commissioners the hospital could lose more than $6,000,000 a year if the legislature slashes Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements to critical access hospitals.
Serle says Lourdes would have to cut services, affecting the entire Tri-Cities, including mental health services to the county jail.
He says cuts in mental health could lead to more homelessness in the Tri-Cities.
"We need to be prepared for ultimate decisions that we have no control over," says Commissioner Jim Beaver. "Whether it's Medicare, Medicaid, the state or federal government. Where's our plan when the budget is cut 15 percent. What are we going to do?"
Beaver says if it will help, the commissioners will write letters to lawmakers supporting the hospital's fight against the proposed cuts.