NYC Health + Hospitals loses $776M in first half of FY 2017

Dive Brief:

  • Unaudited financial statements show that NYC Health + Hospitals suffered a $776 million operating loss in the first half of fiscal 2017, Modern Healthcare reported.
  • About $78 million in capital contributions from the city brought the public health system’s net loss to $736 million.
  • Operating revenues grew 2.1% to $4.2 billion, and included an 11.1% gain in premium revenue from H+H’s insurance arm, MetroPlus.

Dive Insight:

An H&H spokesman blamed the financial results in part on timing of government payments and the need to count costs like depreciation. He said the health system still expects to narrow its budget gap by $70 million this year. According to the spokesman, noncash costs such as depreciation accounted for $270 million of the operating loss. Another $200 million stemmed from the city’s prepaying part of its fiscal 2017 subsidy to the system during the prior fiscal year.

H+H has seen its share of troubles in recently. The system has experienced several years of operating losses and was banking on implementation of a $764 million EMR to help turn the situation around.

Earlier this month, H+H ‘s Coney Island hospital announced it had successfully transitioned to the new Epic EMR, bringing to three the number of H+H hospitals that have fully adopted the system. The new EMR is also up and running at H+H’s Queens and Elmhurst hospitals, as well as the system’s home care operations and 20 community-based health centers in Queens.

But the implementation is far behind H+H’s original April 1, 2016, systemwide go-live deadline. Former CEO Ram Raju was accused of bowing to City Hall pressures to launch the Epic EMR before it was fully tested and ready. He denied those charges, but stepped down as CEO in November 2016 amid continuing struggles and financial losses.

Then there’s been grumbling among physicians, who argue the system’s quality goals are too high and could cause the physicians to lose out on tens of thousands of dollars in incentive payments.

In April 2015, the system outlined a plan to help shore up the system’s financial position by 2020, including extending evening and weekend hours and increasing the number of patients it treats to 2 million. With expenses outpacing revenues, that turnaround could be in doubt.

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Filed Under: Finance Hospital Administration