Hospitals say they're suffering financially

    Pennsylvania’s hospital associations says the governor’s plan to provide health insurance to more people won’t work without solvent hospitals.

    A small community hospital in New Jersey shut its doors last week, and hospitals across the region say their financial health is also in jeopardy.

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    Kessler Memorial in Hammonton is the ninth New Jersey hospital to close in the last two years. Kerry McKean Kelly is a spokeswoman for the state’s hospital association. She says health care providers are buckling under financial pressure.

    Kelly: Key government payers Medicare, Medicaid and the state’s Charity Care Program simply don’t reimburse hospitals enough. All three of those programs pay hospitals less then their costs. So hospitals lose money each time they take care of a Medicaid patient or a Charity Care patient.

    Kelly says Kessler Hospital employed more than 300 full time workers. Kessler executives say another hospital will take over emergency services for the Hammonton community.

    Also, in a survey this month, nearly 60 percent of hospitals in Pennsylvania said they’re caring for more uninsured people and others who need financial help.

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