Displeased over increases in the Fairfax Hospital Association's proposed budget for next year, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors requested the association to present two alternative budgets showing smaller increases.
The action came after Supervisor James M. Scott (D-Providence), told the board he felt the 11 percent increase reflected in the association's $90 million proposed budget was "too high." He said the increase is "almost double the President's suggestion for a limit to hold down costs."
The board asked the association, which runs three county hospitals and an outpatient treatment center in Reston, to present two alternative budgets - one to reflect a 6 percent cost increase and another to reflect an 8 percent increase.
Fairfax Hospital Association operates its publicly owned facilities through a lease arrangement with the Board of Supervisors. The arrangement gives the supervisors a 30-day period to review the association budget and make recommendation that there not binding.
Franklin P. Iams, executive vice president of the Fairfax Hospital Association, said the association"has no comment" on Scott's remarks or on the board, but added that "as has been our previous policy in regard to suggestions of the county board, the Fairfax Hospital Association Board of Trustees will consider very seriously the county board's objections. . ."
Scott, the supervisors' representative on the FHA board of trustees, said he brought the matter to the supervisors because the trustees in October voted down his proposal to ask the FHA staff to present smaller budgets for review.
The FHA board of trustees is expected to review the budget late this month and present a copy to the supervisors to review solely for "informational purposes," said FHA spokewoman Peggy Pond.
Scott was already irritated with the FHA board for its earlier refusal to give sick leave benefits to female employes who take maternity leave. The board has since announced its intention to provide the sick leave benefits to those on maternity leave, after Congress passed laws this session requiring such benefits.
Pond said the FHA had been reluctant to provide such benefits because of the vast number of female employes working at the organization's four facilities Iams said the association has "conservatively" estimated that the maternity leave benefits would add $200,000 to the association benefits budget.