Hospitals fear going out of business

Gov. Haley Barbour is pushing to cut Medicaid payments to hospitals, nursing homes and other providers in a sweeping proposal that critics say could curtail access to health care.

“Hospitals are already on such a razor-thin margin anyway that it could put some out of business and then they won’t be providing care to anyone,” said Michael Bailey, vice president of the Mississippi Hospital Association.

Barbour built a large part of his 2012 fiscal budget on a proposal to return rates for providers, excluding physicians, to fiscal 2010 levels, a move the Division of Medicaid says could save about $60 million.

Clarion Ledger