While teachers have been closely watching the budget negotiations at the state legislature over the past several weeks, so, too, have administrators at ECU's Brody School of Medicine.
Officials were watching two pieces of legislation, that if passed, could cost Brody more than $9 million in revenue on top of state budget cuts that have already totaled $9.2 million over the past five years. However, that bullet appears to have been dodged.
"The budget reinstates in part the ability of our clinical practice to collect debt through the Set-Off Debt Collection Act (SODCA) as well as provides additional access to federal Medicaid funding by making adjustments to the Upper Payment Limits (UPL) to providers," said Dr. Phyllis Horns, vice chancellor for Health Sciences. " Also critical is the fact the proposed budget did not assess a tax on UPL funds we receive."
Horns added that the work to analyze the budget is continuing, including what impact the proposal would have on Vidant Health. Impacts on Vidant, which is in a unique partnership with the Brody School of Medicine, could also impact ECU.
The medical school employs nearly 2,000 faculty and staff. Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce President Scott Senatore said in June the "economic vitality of Greenville, Pitt County, and eastern North Carolina is closely tied to the Brody School of Medicine."
Business leaders in Pitt County say they are concerned with possible funding cuts to the Brody School of Medicine at ECU.
The medical school, which employs nearly 2,000 faculty and staff, could face losing millions of dollars in revenue.
The Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce says if recent amendments to two pieces of legislation are made law, Brody could lose more than $9 million in revenue, on top of state budget cuts that have already totaled $9.2 million over the past five years.
"The economic vitality of Greenville, Pitt County, and eastern North Carolina is closely tied to the Brody School of Medicine," said Scott Senatore, chamber president. "The services it provides and the jobs it creates are critical to our economy."
The chamber says if the changes are allowed to happen, the medical school could seriously be impacted in its ability to remain a driving economic force.
The two acts are the Physician Upper Payment Limit, which ECU says was trimmed in 2013, and the Set-Off Debt Collection Act.
Some 53% of Brody's graduates live in North Carolina, with a majority residing here in the east. The chamber says that's the highest percentage of any North Carolina medical school.