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STATE IS FREEING UP FUNDS FOR CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL

Children's Hospital will receive at least some of the help it was seeking from the state to avert a cash-flow problem, area legislators said Tuesday.

They met privately with Health Commissioner David Axelrod in an attempt to free $4.1 million in state reimbursement that Children's says it is owed. Without prompt assistance, Children's officials said they would have to borrow, at a cost of perhaps $40,000 per month.

Assemblyman Robin L. Schimminger, D-Kenmore, said Axelrod told them the Division of the Budget has approved retroactive reimbursements that eventually will mean $1.6 million to the hospital. Two other reimbursement claims, approved by the Health Department but not yet by the Budget Division, would produce another $659,000.

Schimminger said Axelrod also announced two increases in statewide hospital reimbursement for added costs of labor and compliance with state staffing regulations. They will produce $1.58 million for Children's annually after July 1.

Area legislators of both parties sent a letter to Axelrod two weeks ago urging his personal intercession to assist Children's.

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