Mayor Karl Dean proposed a 5-percent budget cut for the Metro Hospital Authority, but officials told Metro Council members last night that they’ve found ways to offset most of the cut.
Nashville General Hospital will still be about 2 million dollars in the hole, though, which officials said they’d take out of the hospital’s existing line of credit.
Hospital CEO Reginald Coopwood says he’s focused on increasing revenues and bringing more patients into the hospital.
“I need that more than money because if I can get that and have that level of growth, we won’t need as much money. And having that message out into the community and watching people have a different understanding of what we do in that facility, that’s worth more than any millions we can get out of the city government.”
Coopwood says the hospital is also looking at a plan to encourage Metro Employees to use the hospital by providing discounts. The program is slated to begin in July.
Coopwood stressed to the Council that there are a number of things beyond his control clouding the financial picture, other than the 2-million dollar deficit for next year. Those things include state money that has yet to be disbursed, the ongoing lawsuit over care for state prisoners, and several rule changes being proposed by the Bush administration which will decrease Medicaid funding across the country.