By 2012, Private NYC Hospitals Will Pay Fee for City Ambulances

Beginning in January 2012, New York City will begin charging private hospitals as much as $1 million a year for ambulances dispatched by the city's 911 system, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The fee was approved by Mayor Michael Bloomberg as part of his administration's effort to combat the city's multibillion-dollar deficit. Through agreements with 25 private hospitals, the fire department has traditionally provided voluntary ambulance services in the city's five boroughs. The new fees will be based on the number of scheduled ambulance tours the private hospital operates in the 911 system — costs expected to range from $73,000 to $1 million.

Hospitals are concerned that those facilities in underserved areas may not participate in the "cost-sharing initiative" (as city officials call it) and patients may experience longer wait times as a result, according to the report. Other hospital spokespeople are concerned that hospitals operating on thin margins or deficits may face serious financial hardship as a result of the decision.

Read the Wall Street Journal report on New York City's new rule for private hospitals and ambulances.

Read more about New York City hospitals:

-NYC's Beth Israel Names COO

-Judge Prevents NYC Public Hospitals From Cutting 150 Jobs

-New York Department of Health Offers Grant to Revitalize Struggling Hospital

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