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County's Financial Obligation to ECMC Unclear


By Joyce Kryszak


Buffalo, NY – Recommendations were submitted last week by the physicians' steering committee for the ECMC and Kaleida merger. Their plan could keep both hospital systems strong under the new Great Lakes Health System. But questions still remain about the county's financial obligation.

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Erie County will pay ECMC $7.7 million this month and roughly the same amount again next year. The county is obligated by a 2005 court order to continue subsidizing the hospital at least until 2010. But it's unclear what will be expected of the county beyond that -- especially now that ECMC and Kaleida are merging. County Budget Director Greg Gach says attorneys are hashing that out. m Callen is with the county comptroller's office. He says, in the meantime, they need to know how much to budget.

In case support must continue, county officials asked lawmakers to set up a reserve account exclusively for the hospital subsidy.