Fasano Blasts Malloy: “This is crazy” [Fox CT]

October 13, 2015


HARTFORD — Gov. Dan Malloy’s budget office says it’s redistributing $14.1 million to help smaller, financially strapped hospitals in Connecticut.

The Office of Policy and Management announced Friday that six hospitals will receive the extra payments. They include Bristol, Charlotte Hungerford, Day Kimball, Johnson and Milford hospitals.

“This is is a proactive step to recognize one size doesn’t fit all, not every hospital is the same,” said Devon Puglia, Gov. Dannel Malloy’s spokesperson.

Malloy still maintains that the large hospitals are earning millions of dollars per year, and the state has released statistics about the salaries and benefits of the large-hospital CEOs who receive as much as $3.5 million per year.

“The hospital industry in Connecticut is one where there’s robust executive compensation, robust profit margins, and there’s a couple situations where that’s not the case, so we’re stepping in to help,” Puglia said.

This move comes weeks after the governor received blow back for a plan to cut $63 million in medicaid payments, on the way to trimming more than $100 million from the state’s budget.

The Connecticut Hospital Association says the hit would snowball into millions more in lost federal reimbursements to hospitals.

“$15 million is nearly a drop in the bucket compared to nearly $200 million that the governor is taking out of hospitals,” said Michele Sharp, spokesperson for the Connecticut Hospital Association.

The money is being taken from a pool of medicaid supplemental payments that the state set aside for the hospitals for the first quarter of the fiscal year. Medicaid reimbursement payments the state had not yet released to 28 hospitals in Connecticut when the state’s fiscal year ended on September 30.

“Simply reshuffling already overdue payments for the first quarter toward smaller hospitals is not an adequate resolution and amounts to randomly picking winners and losers,” said Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey (D-Hamden)

President Pro Tem Marty Looney says that restoring the “ill-conceived and devastating cuts’’ is only a first step that must continue with more restorations. The cuts recently prompted Hartford Hospital to cut off talks with Day Kimball, a small hospital in Putnam that received $2.7 million Friday.

The hospital also announced it would eliminate 23 full-time equivalent positions, about 2 percent of its workforce and freeze wages.

“So while the restoration of most of the small hospital funding will help, it is not enough to prevent the need for D.K.H. to move forward with the cuts to our staffing and operations that were announced,” said in a statement by Robert Smanik, Day Kimball Hospital president and CEO.

Senate Republican leader Len Fasano blasted Malloy, saying the announcement was a last-minute “press release dump” before the three-day Columbus Day holiday.

“This is crazy,” Fasano said. “Yesterday, the governor called me a ‘shill’ for Connecticut’s hospitals. Today, I guess I’m his guiding light.

“Gov. Malloy doesn’t know if he’s coming or going. This is the type of unpredictability that causes Connecticut businesses like General Electric to consider leaving Connecticut.

The governor’s office maintains the plan is the best solution for now.

“We are asking for suggestions, we have not received those suggestions, and we are taking steps where others are not,” Puglia said.