Archives of the Mayor's Press Office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: Thursday, October 8, 1998
Contact: Colleen Roche/Brenda Perez (212) 788-2958
Dr. Jane Zimmerman (HHC) (212) 788-3339
MAYOR GIULIANI BREAKS GROUND FOR A NEW QUEENS HOSPITAL CENTER
A New Queens Hospital, A Renewed Corporation: HHC Builds A New Queens
Hospital, And Ends With A Surplus For The Third Straight Fiscal Year
Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani today broke ground for New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation's new Queens Hospital Center, a $147 million facility that will modernize and expand the facilities and services currently provided by Queens Hospital. The Mayor was joined at the groundbreaking ceremony by Queens Borough President Claire Shulman, HHC Board Chairperson Dr. Rosa M. Gil, and HHC President Dr. Luis R. Marcos.
"Today's groundbreaking marks the latest step we are taking to improve the efficiency and the performance of New York City's health system," Mayor Giuliani said. The new, state-of-the-art Queens Hospital Center will provide the highest quality health care for residents of South Queens, Jamaica and surrounding communities. It will benefit the community greatly by emphasizing primary and preventive care."
The new 200-bed facility will provide semi-private rooms and will accommodate medical and surgical services, such as intensive care, behavioral health, medical rehabilitation, pediatrics, obstetrics, labor and delivery suites and a new state-of-the-art emergency department. The construction plan also involves the development of two centers of excellence, one for cancer care treatment and another for women's health services. Two community-based primary care centers will also be constructed.
Several aging, obsolete buildings on the 22-acre Queens campus have been demolished to facilitate construction of the new hospital, which will occupy approximately six acres. The new hospital is expected to be completed in the spring of 2001.
Queens Borough President Claire Shulman said, "Rebuilding Queens Hospital Center has long been one of our highest priorities. This is an exciting day for the residents of Southeast Queens, who are now assured of receiving excellent health care in modern facilities." The Borough President's office is funding approximately 10 percent of the total project cost.
Built in the mid-1930's, and previously certified for 408 beds, the hospital services the communities of Southeast Queens, including Jamaica, St. Albans, Laurelton, and South Ozone Park. Queens Hospital Center handles approximately 310,000 ambulatory care visits annually, including emergency services.
HHC Chairperson Dr. Rosa Gil said, "The new Queens Hospital Center will be responsive to the current trends in health care delivery and the demands of managed care, which have resulted in changing patterns of utilization at the hospital."
HHC President Dr. Luis Marcos said, "Restructuring the Corporation has resulted in increased efficiency and performance. Most importantly, we have been able to achieve both fiscal stability and clinical excellence. In fact, the quality of our patient care has never been better."
Market forces, which emphasize preventive and primary care rather than hospital inpatient services have made a profound change in the delivery of health care services. The effect of these forces is reflected across the country in a reduced number of hospital admissions and lengths of stay, and increased primary care visits. Consistent with these national trends, HHC has changed the way it delivers services to patients. It has become more accountable and efficient, and has improved the quality of patient care.
The Health and Hospital Corporation is comprised of 11 acute care facilities, five long-term care facilities, and six diagnostic and treatment centers. The Corporation provides nearly one million emergency visits each year, five million outpatient visits, and 235,000 hospital admissions.
- Consistent with nationwide trends emphasizing prevention and primary care, fewer people are being admitted to HHC facilities. Admissions to HHC's acute care hospitals have dropped by almost 13% a year since FY92.
- The average length of stay at the acute care hospitals has dropped by more than 30%, from 8.2 days in FY92 to 5.7 days in FY98. This is a clear sign of increased efficiency.
- The average daily census, or the number of patients in the hospitals on any given day, has dropped by about 1,954 patients since FY92. This is a result of fewer admissions, coupled with a decrease in the average length of stay.
- Fewer patients in the hospitals require fewer staff, and HHC's workforce has been reduced by about 21% since FY92.
- The trends in primary care and emergency room visits are headed in the right direction. Since FY92, emergency room visits have gone down by 10%, while primary care visits have significantly increased - rising from about 1.5 million in FY92 to more than two million in FY98. More people are managing their health by seeing their primary care physicians for problems that can be prevented, rather than going to the emergency room for last-minute treatment.
- HHC's fiscal strength is also yielding impressive results. The Corporation finished FY98 with a $21 million surplus. This was the third consecutive time that HHC has ended the fiscal year with a positive bottom line, an accomplishment that has not gone unnoticed by the financial industry.
- HHC's positive financial performance encouraged the ratings agencies to upgrade its outlook. HHC successfully issued $320 million in variable rate bonds to fund capital improvement projects.
- Finally, HHC continues to deliver high quality care. One indication of this is the positive survey results from the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, the national body that accredits hospitals.
- All of HHC's facilities which have been surveyed by the Joint Commission since FY94 have received full, three-year accreditation.
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