Hamilton County Commissioners discuss indigent care costs

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Hamilton County Commissioners are soon going to make a decision about how much money will be included in the indigent care levy on the November 8 ballot.  But the public still has time to weigh in.

At a commission meeting Monday morning, Commissioner Greg Hartmann said he would have a recommendation on the issue by next week.  Also next week, on Wednesday morning at 11:30, at the commission's regular meeting, is when the public will be able to have their say.

At issue is the dollar amount that University Hospital will have access to for treatment of patients who can't pay for their health care.

University Hospital President and CEO, Dr. Brian Gibler told FOX19 that while the hospital has made every effort to cut down on costly and unnecessary emergency room visits by getting indigent patients preventive care, the dollars from the county can only be stretched so far.

The indigent care levy has been funded most recently since 2006, and it will be up for a vote again this year.  The hospital is asking for the same amount of money to be allotted, even though the number of people who are indigent has risen.

Any less, Dr. Gibler says, and serious scrutiny will have to be given to which programs and services will be reduced or cut back.

Commissioner Greg Hartmann says his recommendation will reflect the importance of this issue to the voters of Hamilton County.

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