Cincinnati City Councilman Charlie Winburn is asking the city's five five major hospitals to start planning on receiving 68,000 city health care patients in the event that city health care clinics are defunded.
"With the city facing a $35 million budget deficit in 2012, there very well could be pressure to close the city health clinics in order to save the city approximately $8 million a year," Winburn said. "I am proposing that we create a WIN-WIN for the city and the hospitals before we ever reach that point."
Winburn says the five city hospitals receive approximately $2.6 billion in combined annual net revenue. Winburn is asking the hospitals to work with the City of Cincinnati on an initiative to Adopt a Health Clinic in order to continue to provide the needed care for many in the city who have little or no other alternative. The five hospitals include:
- Children's Hospital
- University Hospital
- The Christ Hospital
- Good Samaritan Hospital
- Mercy Hospital Western Hills
Winburn believes that it appears that council is one vote away from defunding the city health clinics, and after the November 2011 elections there may be a fifth vote to do so.
"If this happens, 68,000 citizens will not have any place to receive health services on a long term basis and I predict that they will end up at the five largest city hospital emergency rooms," Winburn said. "These hospitals should get ready to be used as a city health clinic service on a long term basis."
Winburn will be introducing a motion in August when the Mayor and City Council to direct the City Manager to develop an Adopt a Health Clinic Initiative as an alternative to defunding the five city health clinics and leaving 68,000 citizens without health services.
The proposal to the hospitals includes one or more of the following adoptive services:
- An adoptive hospital should provide efficient and effective management and operation of their local health clinic in a designated city neighborhood.
- An adoptive hospital should provide funding of their local health clinic at approximately $1.6 million each year.
- The City of Cincinnati should provide resources and assistance for a possible merger or acquisition by the hospitals relative to the possible management and operation of each of the five city health clinics.
- The City of Cincinnati should consider offering the hospitals the option for the Cincinnati Health Department to continue operating the five city health clinics through contracted services.
- The City of Cincinnati should consider establishing health clinic standards and performance measures for its five health clinics under a new system of management and operations provided the adoptive hospitals.