'Unsustainable and untenable': Poor finances push Massachusetts safety-net hospitals to brink

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Financial pressure is pushing independent and safety-net hospitals in Massachusetts to consider service and staff cuts to remain open, according to the Boston Herald.

Fueling the bleak financial outlook is the high cost of care for COVID-19 patients and insufficient government funding, coupled with lower reimbursement from programs like Medicaid, according to the report. 

The financial struggles of community and independent hospitals are in stark contrast to bigger systems in the state, like Boston's Mass General Brigham, which recorded $1.1 billion in net income in the first quarter of this fiscal year. 

Deborah Wilson, the president and CEO of Lawrence (Mass.) General Hospital, told the Boston Herald that financial instability has "created an unsustainable and untenable situation for us. We could be looking at needing to reduce or eliminate services this fall." The hospital lost $13.1 million last year despite getting $60 million in state and federal aid.

Lawrence General said at the end of May it plans to lay off 56 employees and is warning of more cuts unless it receives government aid quickly.

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