Stopping the Bleeding at NYC's Public Hospitals - An Analysis of Disparities between the Public Hospital System and the Private Academic Centers

H&H report cover

PNHP NY Metro Forum held in February 2018


Barbara Caress, a health care consultant with long experience in non-profit, union, and public agency management and administration

James Parrott, Director of Economic and Fiscal Policies, Center for New York City Affairs

Co-authors of the report, On Restructuring the NYC Health+Hospitals Corporation, prepared for the New York State Nurses Association.


As we fight for the universal, single-payer system that we all deserve, we should also push for funding equity between our city's public and private (so-called "voluntary") hospitals and clinics. The recently renamed New York City Health + Hospitals (NYCH+H) bears a disproportionate burden of caring for Medicaid clients, the uninsured, and the undocumented. As Congress threatens devastating cuts in federal health funds, NYCH+H's budget – and deficit – grows annually while the system tries to accommodate the growing need. Right-wing think tanks blame the alleged "inefficiency" of these public-sector healthcare institutions and call for deep cuts.

In a detailed study for the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) published last fall, our two speakers – renowned experts on healthcare financing – demolish the argument that NYCH+H is at fault for the deficit, and that its hospitals fail to provide quality care. Rather, they find, NYCH+H is simply not adequately compensated for the inherently expensive care it provides to many patients – particularly emergency trauma care and treatment of substance abuse and psychiatric disorders. They conclude, "NYCH+H's fiscal problems cannot be fixed by closing hospitals, laying off staff, and cutting services."

Meanwhile, private hospital networks prosper, to some extent, at the expense of the public hospitals. Private sector providers can avoid heavy costs precisely because NYCH+H is there to assume this load. Despite their nonprofit charitable charters, private hospital systems have shifted the burden of caring for these low-income patients to the public system. Even as the number of uninsured New Yorkers declines, NYCH+H's share grows.

This PNHP NY Metro forum explored how we can fight for a fully-funded public healthcare sector, and how lucrative state and city subsidies to private hospitals need to be redirected to the institutions who serve the greatest needs.

February 13, 2018 at 7:30pm - 9pm
Mt. Sinai Beth Israel Phillips Ambulatory Care Center
10 Union Square East @ E 14th St
2nd Floor Auditorium
New York, NY 10003
United States
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Bob Lederer · · 646-866-7671
Elizabeth Rosenthal Brendan Berry Elizabeth Kellner Bruce Bernstein Leonard Valenzuela Deborah Socolar Laura Brereton Morgan Moore Mimi Niles Eugenia Montesinos Trinisha Williams Shira Moss Alexandra Preefer Seward Hung Emily Wenzel Kim Behrens Melissa Villars Sean Brennan Melissa Bair siregar jonas mayra mercado Bruce Willard Sarah Szulecki Emma Allen Ana Djordjevic Jennifer Sklar Sharon McDowall Genevra DiLorenzo Nathalia Gibbs William Landolfi Mary Lou Driscoll Marilyn Gold Toni Hellmann Heidi Siegfried Renee Fiorentino Beth Citroni Patricia Loftman Helen Pak Mikal Finkelstein Deborah Herdan Mazeda Uddin Bob Lederer YuLing Koh Hsu

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