- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed $2 billion in subsidies to shore up the financially strapped Health + Hospitals system, Reuters reported.
- No hospitals would close, but some facilities would be restructured, leading to $444 million in savings annually by 2020, according to a report released by city officials on Tuesday.
- The $7.5 billion system treats about 1.4 million individuals annually.
According to the 55-page report, the city health system “is on the edge of a financial cliff.” To improve primary care, the plan also calls for $100 million in capital investments in community-based health centers and clinics.
Under the ACA, more low-income New Yorkers have health insurance and these patients have been opting for more convenient, upscale providers, leaving H+H to care for the city’s nearly 1 million uninsured residents, many of whom are undocumented immigrants and ineligible for public health coverage, the Times stated. Undocumented immigrants make up a third of the system's patients and cost the system over $2 billion annually, Reuters noted.
Currently, about 70% of H+H’s hospital stays are uninsured and Medicaid patients—30% higher than other New York City hospitals. But state and federal funding for indigent healthcare is expected to shrink from $2.2 billion this year to $1.4 billion in fiscal 2020.
While the report promises no layoffs, it concedes “there will likely be a net loss of hospital-based jobs,” even after retraining and shifts of some hospital staff to community-based care. Some buildings my also be repurposed for social support and community-based services, the report added.
It’s not clear how this piece of the plan would be carried out, as repurposing existing buildings may require state approval and would likely mean a major investment.
The de Blasio administration plans to appoint a blue ribbon panel to explore further options for overhauling the hospital system. More details will be provided in the coming months.