The Hattiesburg American, 2/19/8

Ron Seal knows what the general public thinks it knows about hospitals and their balance sheets.

“Everybody knows hospitals are making a bunch of money, but that just isn’t the case,” said Seal, chief executive officer at Wesley Medical Center. “There comes a point in time, when you’ve cut and cut and cut, and then you’re cutting into operations, you’re cutting into quality of care.”

And Seal and others believe that Mississippi is nearing that point, particularly with talk of another tax potentially being ladled onto the financial plates of hospitals as politicians search for revenue streams to sate the state’s money-starved Medicaid account.

“We’re proposing that (the state’s Medicaid pool) not be cut because for every (state) dollar cut, the state loses approximately $3 of federal funding,” said Andy Woodard, chief financial officer at Forrest General Hospital.