With 18 days cash on hand, NYC Health + Hospitals calls on state to release $380M in DSH funding

NYC Health + Hospitals is in a dire financial situation, and the system's outgoing CEO Stan Brezenoff is accusing Gov. Andrew Cuomo of withholding hundreds of millions in disproportionate share hospital payments, according to Politico.

"It is mystifying that approximately $380 million of DSH funds — the majority of which we expected to receive months ago — is languishing, awaiting action by the State Department of Health and the Division of Budget," Mr. Brezenoff wrote in a letter to New York Health Commissioner Howard Zucker. Mr. Brezenoff said the $380 million is for services provided to about 1.2 million patients.

In a statement issued Friday, the governor said New York City should provide assistance to the struggling hospital system, which only has 18 days cash on hand.

"New York City with a $4 billion surplus needs to help H + H," Mr. Cuomo said, according to The New York Times. "The first source of financial assistance for these hospitals must be their associated local governments and [State University of New York]."

A spokeswoman for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told The New York Times the city has already given $1.8 billion to the public hospital system this fiscal year. "We have always said our reserves are for a rainy day," the spokeswoman said, "not for when Governor Cuomo refuses to give our public hospitals what they're owed for caring for New Yorkers."

Adding further stress to New York City's public hospitals, federal cuts to DSH payments kicked in on Sunday.

The ACA calls for aggregate reductions to DSH payments annually from fiscal year 2014 through fiscal year 2020. Subsequent legislation delayed the start of the reductions until fiscal year 2018, which began Oct. 1, and pushed the end date back to fiscal year 2025. DSH payments would be gradually reduced by a total of $43 billion over the eight-year period.

Lawmakers are working on a solution to the funding issue. On Monday, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told The New York Times he was "cautiously optimistic that we can forge a common-sense, bipartisan agreement to preserve DSH"

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