At Moss Regional Hospital an estimated $2.3 million will be cut to balance the budget-- which will include the 14 bed psychiatric unit and pediatrics. Jimmy Pottorff Is the interim CEO at the hospital. "The system is looking at a $29 million dollar cut and Moss Regional's portion,we're going to have to sever our contract with Office of Behavioral Health that runs our inpatient psych unit and we won't be able to do pediatric services for the zero to thirteen age group. The fourteen and up age group pediatrics will still be able to be seen in our primary care clinics by our physicians."
He says patients will be referred to private providers and that employees in the psych unit are expected to be offered jobs elsewhere. Employees who work in the psych unit are not actually Moss Regional Hospital employees--but come under the State Office of Behavioral Health. "Pediatrics I don't see any issues because there will be local providers that will accept La Chip, the community care program. Inpatient psych, I do know that the Office of Behavioral Health is currently in contract negotiations with some local providers to continue that service in another location," said Pottorff.
He projects between five and eight layoffs of Moss employees stemming from the change in pediatrics. Two beds from the critical care unit are to be moved to the regular floor to reduce overhead in that department but Pottorff doesn't expect that to effect patient care.
The $2.3 million is coming out of the fiscal year ending June 30th. "We're going to hold off on some planned expenditures, you know, like parking lot projects and those things so that all adds into it," said Pottorff. As well he says they are not filling some vacancies that have existed for some time.
State Representative A.B. Franklin says he's concerned Moss cannot withstand the cuts and that people won't get the care they need.
A meeting of the Moss Regional Community Advisory was held at 5 p.m. in Building J on the back side of the hospital. Watch for coverage of that meeting on later editions of KPLC7News and at www.kplctv.com