|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 6, 2006
State Health Care Cuts Would Drain New York City Public Hospitals Of $170 Million
HHC President to lobby legislative leaders against cuts that jeopardize services to most needy New Yorkers, new immigrants, the uninsured
New York City – March 6, 2006 - The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) today announced an analysis of how the proposed Medicaid cuts in the state budget would drain public hospitals and nursing homes of as much as $170 million a year. HHC President Alan Aviles will travel to Albany tomorrow, Tuesday, March 7, to meet with Senate and Assembly leaders to discuss how the cuts would impact specific communities and urge their support in restoring all cuts aimed at health services to the city’s most vulnerable communities.
“These cuts would be devastating and seriously undermine the amazing transformation public hospitals have made to achieve excellence in providing health care while continuing to serve all New Yorkers regardless of ability to pay,” said Aviles. “Thousands of New Yorkers who have no insurance, the working poor and the many new immigrants who depend on us for their health care will suffer disproportionably and needlessly.”
HHC estimates that cuts proposed in the 2006-2007 Executive Budget would translate into as much as $170 million in cuts to the public hospital system’s 11 acute care hospitals and four nursing homes. Funding losses would be as high as $30 million for one of its nursing homes – Coler/Goldwater Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility. The proposed budget would specifically cut inpatient detox services, nursing home care, health coverage for the working poor and graduate medical education. HHC also estimates the cuts would eliminate the annual hospital trend factor allocation, nearly $54.6 million, which supports the increasing costs of doing business, as well as the volume adjustment payments which serve as an incentive to reduce patients’ lengths of stay, worth $10.5 million.
All HHC public hospitals and nursing homes in Manhattan, including Coler/Goldwater, Bellevue, Gouverneur Nursing Home, Harlem and Metropolitan, would face $72.4 million in cuts. HHC facilities in the Bronx, including Lincoln, Jacobi and North Central, would face a cut of $30.2 million. Kings County, Woodhull, Coney Island and the McKinney Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Brooklyn would face a cut of 28.3 million. The facilities in Queens, Queens Hospital Center and Elmhurst, would have to absorb $13 million in cuts.
HHC President Alan Aviles will also call on state legislative leaders to support an increase in Medicaid reimbursement for outpatient care, especially the reimbursement for the cost of providing emergency care. These rates have not increased for more than 15 years.
“We have been providing essential care with rates that have been frozen for 15 years while demand for our services continues to increase. Last year alone, HHC provided 5 million hospital visits and nearly one million emergency room visits across the city. The Medicaid ER rates must increase if we are to continue to operate these critically needed community resources,” said Aviles.
The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) is the largest municipal healthcare system in the country. HHC operates a network of 11 hospitals, six diagnostic and treatment centers, four long-term care facilities, more than 80 community clinics and a home health care agency. HHC provides care to all regardless of ability to pay. HHC serves 1.3 million New Yorkers annually, including more than 450,000 who have no health insurance.
Click here to download HHC 2006-2007 State Budget Impact Statement