March 12, 2014

CT hospitals cut 1,400 jobs last year as income fell

Connecticut hospitals eliminated 1,400 jobs in 2013 as their collective operating income fell by $175 million, according to the Connecticut Hospital Association.

That was down 34 percent from 2012 operating income of $513.6 million, according to state records.

The association blamed the income decline on a 2 percent cut to Medicare funding enacted as a part of federal sequestration; a $103-million state budget rescission passed in Dec. 2012; and a state hospital tax that amounted to $101 million last year and will increase to $235 million starting in July.

The result for hospitals in 2013 was an average operating of margin of 3.3 percent —less than the 4 percent margin hospitals say they need to stay financially viable.

The association is lobbying state legislators to eliminate the hospital tax over a five-year period. The Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee will hold a public hearing Thursday on legislation that would do that.

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