Tyrrell commissioners oppose Vidant Health funding cut proposals

Published 6:15 pm Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The Tyrrell County Board of Commissioners on June 4 unanimously opposed appropriation cuts to Vidant Health that are a part of the pending state Senate budget.

On motion by Vice Chairman Carl Willis, the board recorded its resistance to the move and also “urges the North Carolina General Assembly to keep in place funding necessary to assure access to high quality healthcare for all people in eastern North Carolina.”

The commissioners urged other eastern counties to join them by adopting similar resolutions and sending them to their legislative delegations.

Finally, the board ordered the clerk to send Tyrrell’s resolution to Gov. Roy Cooper and all 170 members of the state legislature.

Vidant Health encompasses Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, the teaching hospital for the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.

Vidant Health also comprises community hospitals in Beaufort, Bertie, Chowan, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe and Hertford counties, plus several physician practices throughout the eastern counties.

The resolution states that the state Senate’s version of the budget reduces Vidant Medical Center’s Medicaid reimbursement by approximately $35 million beginning in July.

Another $38 million would be taken away from Vidant because of changes to the State Health Plan scheduled to take effect next Jan. 1.

The resolution claims that the $73 million cutback would be more than Vidant’s operating margin for fiscal year 2018, thus eliminating all of the system’s “bottom line.”