The Wyoming Medical Center in Casper has cut 58 positions to meet budget reductions due to a downturn in the local economy. The hospital says they also don’t plan to fill 57 vacancies.
Medical Center CEO Vicki Diamond said the reductions will save the organization over $7 million dollars, but cuts will not harm medical services. For example, no nurses were reduced.
Chief Financial Officer Yvonne Wiggington said fewer people have insurance and that has led to a rise in charity care and bad debt.
“We expect this year to hit $55.1 million dollars in uncompensated care. That is a four million dollar increase from last year.”
One solution to those rising costs would have been for the state to expand Medicaid, something the legislature has consistently voted down. Had the legislature approved the expansion, Diamond said the cuts would have been less severe.
“Best guestimate if we had 20-percent of those patients that were able to be on Medicaid through that Medicaid expansion group, we probably add $2.2 million dollars to the bottom line. It’s a big deal.”
Diamond said reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid have also decreased.