NYC Hospitals See 10% Plus Patient Volume Increases Due to Hurricane Sandy

Many New York City hospitals are continuing to see increased patient volume a month after Hurricane Sandy forced some hospitals to temporarily close their doors, according to a New York Times report.

Hurricane damage caused Bellevue Hospital Center, Coney Island Hospital, NYU Langone Medical Center and the VA New York Harbor Healthcare System to close. These hospitals' patients have been transferred to neighboring hospitals. The added patient volume is stretching hospitals' resources, but is also generating needed additional revenue for hospitals that have faced financial problems.

In addition, NYU is paying its salaried physicians through January on the condition they do not take another job. To practice, NYU has arranged for these physicians to practice at the same hospitals taking in additional patients, according to the report.

Here are six examples of increased patient volume and physicians at New York City hospitals due to Hurricane Sandy, according to the report:

•    Emergency department visits at Beth Israel Medical Center have increased 24 percent and hospital admissions have increased 12 percent this November compared with November 2011.

•    ED visits at Lenox Hill Hospital increased 10 percent, and the hospital expanded its surgery schedule from five days a week to seven. Lenox Hill Hospital took on nearly 300 NYU Langone physicians, roughly 600 nurses and about 150 physicians in training, fellows and medical students.

•    Maimonides Medical Center had 1,100 more emergency patients this November than last November. Most of these patients were from four ZIP codes served by Coney Island Hospital, which closed. Maimonides Medical Center also saw a three-fold increase in the number of psychiatric emergency patients from these four ZIP codes.

•    ED visits at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell have increased 25 percent.

•    New York Downtown Hospital took on at least 15 NYU physicians.

•    Mount Sinai Medical Center took 11 NYU physicians and 26 nurses.

More Articles on Hurricane Sandy:

Closed NYC Hospitals Raise Surge Capacity Concerns After Hurricane Sandy
CMS Extends Medicare EHR Deadline for Hurricane-Affected Hospitals

CMS to Waive Certain Quality Reporting Requirements for Hurricane-Hit Hospitals

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