NYC's public hospitals face $6.1B budget shortfall

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NYC Health + Hospitals faces a number of challenges, including rising expenses and declining revenues, leaving the public hospital system with a projected cash shortfall of $6.1 billion over the four years through 2020, according to a report from the New York City Independent Budget Office. 

To help close the budget gap in coming years, the public hospital system implemented a turnaround plan, which depends on attracting more paying patients. From 2011 through 2015, inpatient admissions at the system's facilities fell by 13 percent, while outpatient visits remained relatively flat.

New York Health + Hospitals also plans to increase revenue by getting more people to sign up for MetroPlus, its health insurance plan. The system's budget assumes $374 million in increased revenue over five years from a boost in MetroPlus enrollment and increased usage of its facilities by the health plan's enrollees, according to the report.

To ensure its long-term financial viability, the public hospital system plans to cut costs. New York Health + Hospitals aims to save $220 million annually by 2020 through initiatives aimed at reducing staff through attrition and reducing supply and pharmacy costs.

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