Labor union disputes HHC cost-cutting plan

A labor union that represents rank-and-file employees of New York City's Health and Hospitals Corp. has contested cost-cutting actions undertaken by the system and issued budget-cutting recommendations of its own.

"HHC's misguided plan proposes eliminating 3,700 full-time equivalent employees in support services, laundry, trades and other essential titles by fiscal year 2014 and contracting some of this work to the private sector," said Lillian Roberts, executive director of District Council 37, which represents some 18,000 HHC employees. "This is an unconscionable waste of human resources and taxpayer money that undermines quality healthcare at HHC facilities," she said in a statement.

DC37's report, "Public Health Care Under the Knife," criticized accounting firm Deloitte's May 2010 report on behalf of the NYHHC. It recommended less outsourcing to the private sector and more enrollment of patients in NYHHC's MetroPlus health plan, among others. It also accused NYHHC of implementing a restructuring plan without enough input from its employees and outside members of the community.

The Deloitte report, citing recent cuts in Medicaid reimbursement that have totaled $310 million over the past several years, recommended changes that are estimated to save NYHHC $300 million a year. Among the recommendations: cut average lengths of stay for patients through more efficient hospital management, close underperforming clinics and freeze new hiring.

For more:
- read the New York Daily News article
- here's the HHC press release
- read the Deloitte report