NYC Health + Hospitals CEO shares turnaround plan to narrow $1.2B budget gap

NYC Health + Hospitals CEO Ramanathan "Ram" Raju, MD, told the New York City Council that the public hospital system faces "unprecedented threats" to its survival, according to the Daily News.

Numerous factors have contributed to the system's financial troubles, including cuts to federal aid for hospitals that care for uninsured patients. The 11-hospital system provides care to 1.4 million patients every year, including more than 425,000 uninsured.

NYC Health + Hospitals faces a $1.2 billion budget gap next fiscal year. To address the shortfall, the system has implemented a turnaround plan, which depends on attracting more paying patients and getting more people to sign up for MetroPlus, its health insurance plan.

However, on Monday, Dr. Raju told the city council the turnaround changes are "not yet sufficient to ensure our long-term financial sustainability," according to the report.

New York City Councilman Corey Johnson is doubtful the plan will be enough to keep the system afloat.

"It's hard for me…to have confidence our public hospital system is going to be able to continue to exist in New York City," he said. "It's hard for me to see how we are going to be able to dig our way out of this hole."

According to a report on New York City's finances issued by the state comptrollers office, the hospital system projects it will close the fiscal year that ends June 30 with a cash balance of $104 million, enough to support six days of operations.

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