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AMC decries state budget cuts

January 29, 2010
By CHRIS KNIGHT, Enterprise Senior Staff Writer

SARANAC LAKE - Adirondack Medical Center officials say the hospital and its two nursing homes are facing another round of "bruising" budget cuts.

AMC stands to lose $551,671 in the 2010 fiscal year if Gov. David Paterson's Executive Budget proposal is approved by the state Legislature, according to a Thursday news release from the hospital.

"In its budget for 2010, AMC projected an operating margin, or excess revenue to reinvest in programs and services for the following year, of $220,000," the release states. "The governor's proposal would eliminate any hope of AMC improving upon or developing new programs and services for the residents of the Tri-Lakes region beyond 2010."

The health care cuts, combined with Paterson's proposal to close three state prisons in the North Country and reduce funding for local schools, could have a significant impact on the region's economy, AMC officials said.

"If some or all of Gov. Paterson's cuts become reality, there will be a significant portion of the local population in need of critical health and human services - many of whom may not have the financial resources to pay for those services," reads the release.

The Healthcare Association of New York State said Thursday that the governor's proposed budget would have a combined $1 billion impact on hospitals and nursing homes across the state.

"Facing taxes and cuts of this magnitude, health care providers will have no choice but to curtail needed services and lay off workers - which will leave massive holes in our health care safety net and stagnate economic recovery in communities across the state," said HANYS President Daniel Sisto in a news release.

HANYS said the Executive Budget, if it's approved, would mean a loss of $411,000 for AMC. Hospital spokesman Joe Riccio said that figure doesn't include the potential funding losses to AMC's nursing homes in Lake Placid and Tupper Lake, which brings the total cut to $551,671.

Among other hospitals around the region, HANYS said Alice Hyde Medical Center in Malone would lose $425,000, Elizabethtown Community Hospital faces a loss of $157,000, and Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh would lose more than $1 million if Paterson's budget is approved.

A contingent of AMC representatives are scheduled to travel to Albany on March 3 and join with other health care providers across the state to protest the cuts to hospitals and nursing homes. AMC officials will also be meeting with state Sen. Betty Little and Assemblywomen Janet Duprey and Teresa Sayward.

AMC encouraged local residents who are concerned about the funding cuts to contact their state lawmakers by using two Web sites: www.helpyourhospital.org or www.helpyournursinghome.org.

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Contact Chris Knight at 891-2600 ext. 24 or cknight@adirondackdailyenterprise.com.

 
 

 

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