49% of New York state hospitals report service cuts due to staffing

Hospitals in New York state are facing troubling financial circumstances and workforce shortages that threaten access to care, according to a report released Dec. 14.

The report is based on a survey conducted in fall 2022 by the Healthcare Association of New York State, Greater New York Hospital Association, Healthcare Association of Western and Central New York, Iroquois Healthcare Association and Suburban Hospital Alliance of New York State.

For the survey, hospitals answered fiscal, nursing workforce and patient volume questions for the period of 2019 through projected 2022. Participants represent more than 90 percent of the annual revenue generated by hospitals and health systems statewide.

Six takeaways:

1. Nearly half of hospitals (49 percent) reported reducing and/or eliminating services to address staffing challenges.

2. Seventy-seven percent of hospitals reported delaying or canceling building and improvement projects due to fiscal challenges.

3. All hospitals reported nursing shortages they are unable to fill.

4. More than 75 percent of hospitals said they are unable to fill other key positions, highlighting radiology/medical imaging roles, lab workers, respiratory therapists, physicians, environmental services workers, and patient registration and revenue cycle roles.

5. Sixty-four percent of hospitals reported a negative operating margin.

6. Eighty-five percent of hospitals reported operating margins below 3 percent.

"Three out of five hospitals are underwater, and the fourth is on thin ice," Bea Grause, RN, president of the Healthcare Association of New York State, said in a news release. "We face a very real danger of hospitals closing, patients losing care, healthcare workers losing their jobs and communities losing their lifeblood. The state and federal governments must immediately provide new funding, enact common sense policy changes and make no cuts to existing vital healthcare funding."

To read the full report, click here

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