For the back story on Boston Medical Center's worsening financial problems, its $175 million budget shortfall and the conditions that drove the decision to cut 119 jobs, listen to WBUR's Martha Bebinger on Radio Boston. She raises the critical question: What is the state's commitment to keeping the largest "safety net" hospital afloat as it struggles to uphold its legal mission to serve the neediest and most vulnerable patients?
Service Employees International Union representative Jeff Hall says BMC's job cuts will further erode access to care. And Brian Rosman, research director for the nonprofit Health Care for All, highlights a major, unresolved problem: implicit in the 2006 health reform law was a provision to raise Medicaid reimbursments so they actually matched the true cost of care (currently the reimbursement is about sixty-four cents for every dollar.) But due to the economic downturn in the state (and nation), that hasn't happened.
One question that hasn't been answered is whether payment reform might help alleviate some of BMC's problems? Stay tuned.
This program aired on September 14, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.