The City of New York will pump hundreds of millions of additional dollars into its beleaguered healthcare system in an attempt to not only keep it operating, but to get it past anticipated difficult times.
Mayor Bill de Blasio's 2017 budget includes an additional $700 million in funding for the New York City's Health Hospitals Corp. (HHC), which operates 11 hospitals citywide and a network of community clinics. That's on top of the extra $500 million attached to the current fiscal year, plus another $720 million that would be added in increments over the next four years, Bloomberg reported.
"Health + Hospitals is going to be more efficient, more integrated with the rest of New York City's healthcare delivery system and--as a result--will provide better care," de Blasio said in a statement.
Trauma surgeon Ram Raju, M.D., was appointed by de Blasio in 2014 to try and turn the system's fortunes around. Raju had pledged to increase collections, market the system to commercial insurance enrollees and expand services provided by nurse practitioners and physician assistants.
De Blasio's administration has reasons to be concerned: A recently released report on the system's finances said its deficit could rise to as much as $600 million next year and triple to $1.8 billion by the end of the decade, The New York Times reported.
Earlier this year, HHC released an unsettling report saying that it stood to have only six days cash on hand at the end of this fiscal year. And while it had intended to cut jobs, it added hundreds of positions to the payroll instead.