NORTH ADAMS, Mass. (WWLP) – Questions that many people in Berkshire County are asking include how did the hospital get into this financial crisis? Can anything be done to get out of it?
North Adams Regional Hospital filed for bankruptcy back in 2011 and their finances were audited by the attorney general’s office. The state may have contributed to the root of their financial issues.
SEIU Union Spokesperson Jeff Hall told 22News that 46% of the hospitals patients were on Medicare and that the state only reimburses the hospital about 66-cents for every dollar of care provided, leaving the hospital with a gap that can be filled only through donations.
“That makes North Adams very dependent on Medicaid funding from the state. Because the state has underpaid on those Medicaid rates for a long time, that’s a key part in what precipitated the current crisis,” said Hall.
Hall said the Medicare gap could be filled if the hospital was designated as a critical care facility, but that would require changing a state rule.
Any hospital with that designation is required to be at least 25 miles away from another acute care facility. North Adams is 23 miles away.