The state's biggest "safety net" hospital systems are struggling. Boston Medical Center and the Cambridge Health Alliance serve people who fall through the cracks of the healthcare system. Together the hospitals comprise 10 percent of the total Massachusetts budget.
But, hit by the recession and budget cuts, they're both wrestling with tight finances, and both are considering aggressive belt-tightening measures. The CHA is poised to close one of its hospitals and BMC may announce layoffs soon.
While the Cambridge system is getting some help from the state, the BMC is not, and that is also complicating matters.
WBUR's Martha Bebinger has this status check on the financial health of Massachusetts' main safety net hospitals.
This program aired on December 15, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.