Wed. Sep 27th, 2023

Rural New Mexico hospitals face serious financial struggles

Hospital officials are still waiting for a response from the governor's staff about the financial challenges rural hospitals are facing.

Leaders and board members of Roosevelt General Hospital held a briefing last week to discuss the financial future of the hospital.

RGH was recently forced to cut back on staff hours and terminate some employees due to budget cutbacks. Chief Executive Officer Kaye Green said that the May cutbacks effected everyone at the hospital, even those in leadership positions.

Green explained that hospitals have been unable to rebound from the Covid-19 pandemic. They cannot raise product prices to offset cost increases, and as such, hospital expenses far exceed revenue in the post-Covid rural Southwest.

RGH is one of eleven hospitals in the New Mexico Rural Hospital Network. Within this group of rural hospitals, one is set to close by December, one is converting to a Rural Emergency Hospital, and another is closing its labor and delivery unit. Roosevelt General is one of two hospitals in the group implementing reductions in staffing.

Green stated that she does not know yet if another round of employee cuts will be necessary after this current (August) one. “We’ve got to reconcile all of our cost-cutting actions with everything that we know,” she said. “Once we get to that, we’ll know what our supportable employment level is and whether it can be sustained at current levels or if another round of cuts is going to be necessary” (Eastern New Mexico News, Landry Sena, 8.5.23).

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