War Memorial Hospital in Sault Ste. Marie is making budget cuts across the board after a drop in patients.
Hospital officials say they've seen a 15-percent decrease for in-patient care and a slight decrease in out-patient care of about 5-percent.
Pat Bray, Community Relations Director for War Memorial Hospital says they are still tracking the possible causes for the drop in hospital procedures and for tests such as X-rays and MRI's. Many believe it could be the same issue other hospitals are facing with a possible correlation to the Affordable Care Act.
"The Affordable Care Act could be to blame due to higher deductibles people face with some insurance plans," explained Bray. "It comes down to a change in patient practices, what people are going in for and when."
The hospital tracks patient volume monthly and hopes to see a turn around in the trend. Until that happens, employees are dealing with a 10-percent cut in salary. While some employees have decided to take a voluntarily layoff, officials hope spreading the cuts out will lighten employee impact.
Hospital managers are also looking for a budget boost across the border in Sault Ste. Marie Ontario. ??
"W e've been hearing they have long wait times on diagnostic tests and that sort of thing and some Canadian patients go downstate. Detroit has a lot of Canadian patients from Windsor. We are making sure they are aware of us having the same diagnostic equipment the downstate hospitals have," Bray said. "It's something everyone is dealing with and we are adjusting to a new dynamic in health care."