Catholic bishops warn against health policy changes

Catholic bishops in Ohio are warning legislators that new state Medicaid policies that increase taxes on assisted living facilities as well as a proposed assessment that would increase hospital franchise fees will cost more than they are worth.

In a bid to turn around the fiscal situation, Ohio may increase fees pa

Catholic bishops warn against health policy changes id by hospitals to operate and also raise taxes on beds in nursing homes.

Archbishop David Pilarczyk wrote to Governor Ted Strickland that Catholic hospitals will face up to $75 million in additional costs because of the assessment, and he worries that the proposal may represent "balancing the Medicaid budget at the expense of patient care."

Some of the nursing homes that are operated by the church may also pay more to operate nursing homes, although they don't actually use Medicaid matching funds the taxes are designed to fund.

The letter comes at a significant time, as the Ohio Hospital Association reports that one-third of its members have layoff plans in place because of an increase in charity cases coupled with a decrease in government reimbursements and investment values.

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