Bay Medical Center Facing 1.5 Million Budget Cut

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Panama City- Beginning April 1, Bay Medical Sacred Heart Hospital Officials said they expected to lose $1.5 Million from their annual budget.

"We're going to have to evaluate services, were going to have to evaluate people and look at those services that are sustainable because if those services are not then we'll not be able to offer them" Sacred Heart Hospital President, Roger Hall said.

"Just like any business you have to look at all" Paul Kappleman, LHP Hospital Group Division President said. you have to look at your revenue and say in what way can we grow our revenue? And that is making sure that you're providing all the services you can be providing and pulling patients in from outlying areas."

Administrators said the biggest cost centers were employee salary and benefits, supplies and medical equipment, contracted services and indigent care.

Bay Medical spent about $27 Million dollars last year caring for patients who could not afford to pay.

"The state of Florida has the third largest population of uninsured in the United States."

But administrators said that would be less of a burden next year, when the federal government would begin requiring everyone to have medical insurance.

"They're able to have a primary care doctor rather than waiting until they're at their sickest point and then going to the emergency room where they know we'll care for them."

Hospital officials said they were also supporting Governor Rick Scott's plan to expand Medicaid coverage to another one million Floridians. But, the state House and Senate did not indicate they were supporting that plan.