NH medical centers facing uncertain future

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Public health experts say most New Hampshire hospitals and community health centers are faring well right now, but their future is shaky because of rising costs and the faltering economy.

New Hampshire Health and Human Services Commissioner Nick Toumpas told health officials at a meeting in Concord yesterday that he hopes state legislators will discuss the financial future of these health centers before tackling the shrinking state budget.

A new study from the Harvard School of Public Health examines the financial health of nonprofit hospitals and community health centers in New Hampshire that serve the poor and uninsured. The study shows a gap in financial security between medical centers in the state’s southern region and the North Country.

Experts say health centers in less populated and poorer regions are more affected by increases in medical costs, uninsured patients and the declining economy.

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