Sacred Heart system restructuring, makes cuts

Published: Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 02:37 PM.

Burke said declining reimbursement from Medicaid caused a $21 million decline in Sacred Heart Health System revenues this year.

A 2-percent cut in Medicare reimbursement that took effect April 1 due to federal budget cuts will reduce SHHS revenues by $2.4 million over the next year.

He said declining reimbursement from Medicare will continue under the Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare.

Despite those trends and unlike its sister hospital in Pensacola, admissions at Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast have continued to grow, but there is a rising number of patients who do not have health insurance and who cannot pay for health care.   

Citing another example for the need to cut back, Burke pointed to the Florida Legislature’s decision not to accept federal funding for a major Medicaid expansion, which would have provided more funding to reduce losses on uninsured patients. The expansion rejected by the Legislature would have provided healthcare coverage to more than 1 million Florida residents through an expansion of Medicaid eligibility.

Sacred Heart Health System is Northwest Florida’s leading provider of health care. The Health System opened Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast in 2003. It is a 58-bed community hospital in South Walton.

Johnston was hired two years before that to get things up and going.

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