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As part of a budget deal the Legislature approved March 29, the state will release $140 million in funding that was approved, but never released, to Connecticut hospitals for services provided to Medicaid patients. Yale New Haven Health System will receive $28.5 million of the total.

"While this is a piece of good news, the state's 2015- 2016 budget continues to have a negative impact on Yale New Haven Health System, and the governor has proposed additional cuts to hospitals for 2017," said Marna Borgstrom, YNHHS president and CEO. "Recent changes in state taxes on hospitals, as well as cuts to Medicaid reimbursement, have resulted in a loss of nearly $80 million in reimbursement to our health system this year."

With the cuts made to the current, 2015-16 budget, the state is reimbursing YNHHS 33 cents on the dollar for the care of Medicaid patients, down from 48 cents on the dollar two years ago. These cuts particularly affect YNHHS, which cares for more Medicaid and uninsured patients than anyone in the state. In addition, the state last year raised hospitals' taxes, so that YNHHS pays $182 million in hospital taxes.

To voice their opposition to the taxes, Medicaid reimbursement cuts and regulatory burdens that adversely affect hospitals, YNHHS employees have sent thousands of messages to their legislators, and hundreds of employees visited the Legislative Office Building for Hospital Day last year. At this year's Hospital Day March 16, 25 patient and family advocates shared personal stories with legislators about how YNHHS and its delivery networks have impacted their lives.

"Despite the fact that we still face cuts and taxes, the messages employees, patients and families send to legislators have helped his year," Borgstrom said.

She noted that in his budget proposal released April 12, Gov. Dannel Malloy called for cutting nearly $50 million more in payments to hospitals next year, which will negatively impact hospitals by nearly $150 million when the federal match is included.

"With the state facing a budget shortfall for next year and the governor proposing additional cuts to hospitals, we need to continue to let our legislators know that hospital cuts challenge our ability to ensure that everyone who needs our services has access to the most appropriate care to meet their needs," Borgstrom said.

Yale New Haven Health System has launched a new "Voter Voice" campaign that makes it easy for employees, patients and families to contact their legislators about the effect of budget cuts. Visit www.ynhhs.org/helpourhospitals/ to learn more.