New report says NY hospitals are suffering

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   In a recent survey of its members, the Healthcare Association of New York State found that 17 percent of hospitals have eliminated or reduced services as a result of state budget cuts, including cancer treatment and disagnostic care, emergency room expansion and modernization projects, and surgical, adolescent mental health and community-based care.

   The health-care system in New York “has reached a tipping point of fragility,” according to a report the association just released on the survey.

   “New York’s health care system is already imploding from a lack of resources,” HANYS’ President Daniel Sisto said in a statement, adding that 29 hospitals have closed in the past nine years in the state. 

   Gov. David Paterson and state lawmakers have enacted four different budget actions that have reduced funding to hospitals, nursing homes and home-care providers by a total of $3.87 billion through December, according to the Healthcare Association. The impact on hospitals alone has been $1.7 billion.

   Meanwhile, members of the association are concerned that health-insurance reform on the federal level could further hurt them, the group said.

   The Paterson administration has been shifting money away from hospital care to more community-based and preventive services.

    The Healthcare Association has a Web site that allows people to search how their local hospital has been affected by cuts.  

   Other findings from the survey:

   — Thirty-seven percent of hospitals have reported signficant reductions in scheduled surgeries.

   — Seven percent have delayed plans for adding or increasing needed services.

   — Eighteen percent reported layoffs or job eliminations, resulting in a loss of thousands of jobs statewide.

   — More than 63 percent have hiring freezes or frozen wages.

   — Nearly 10 percent have reported problems meeting payroll.

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