Santa Clara County’s Health System Faces $33 Million in Budget Cuts
A plan currently under consideration by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors would require the Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System to trim $33 million from its budget to help address the county's anticipated $160 million revenue shortfall for fiscal year 2004, the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal reports. Most of the cuts would affect services such as substance abuse treatment, mental health, public health and community outreach programs; in addition, the plan would eliminate 232 jobs, according to the Business Journal. The plan also would cut $15.7 million from Valley Medical Center's budget. Over the next year, revenue for the facility is expected to rise by 4.3%, while expenses are anticipated to grow by 10.1%, Kim Roberts, chief financial officer for the Valley Health and Hospital System, said. The health system is unlikely to increase fees because Medi-Cal beneficiaries make up about 38% of outpatient visits and an additional one-third of the hospital's patients lack health insurance, the Business Journal reports. Instead, the health system will use money from its reserves. Bob Sillen, the health system's executive director, said proposed cuts in state and federal money also could lead to further budget constraints at the county level. The county supervisor's health and hospital committee is set to review the budget proposal this month (May, Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, 2/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.