Patient revenue is up, expenditures down, and investments in nurses and other initiatives are ensuring quality patient care
Edited by: JV Staff
NYC Health + Hospitals’ President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD, recently announced that the public health system’s financial turnaround is on track: fiscal year end 2019 shows an on-budget performance with a $36M net positive margin with receipts exceeding disbursements and beating the budget by more than one percent. Patient care revenue was $30M higher than FY18; and, cash on hand grew to $776M, $51M greater than the previous year and the highest in five years.
Additionally, at fiscal year end, the health system was able to close 65 percent of its $1.8B structural gap through additional revenue, savings, managed care negotiations, and getting New Yorkers enrolled into insurance. Investments included the hiring of 426 registered nurses, 229 nursing support, and hiring revenue staff to bill insurance companies for patient procedures. Overall, the fiscal year end summary supports the City’s public health system’s broader multi-year redesign to build a competitive, sustainable organization that will continue to offer high-quality and accessible health care to the people of New York City.
“Financial stability is a critical part of our transformation plan and our fiscal year end shows that we are on the right track – we are achieving our goals and exceeding our budget expectations,” said Dr. Katz. “We continue to make investments in patient care initiatives, which make NYC Health + Hospitals stronger financially and ensure that our patients receive the best care possible. Our goal is to preserve the fundamental promise of our mission to care for all, without exception, and regardless of income, immigration or insurance status.”
“The importance of our public hospitals to the people of this city cannot be overstated,” said City Council Health Committee Chair Mark Levine. “The fiscal struggles of the system in recent years have posed a threat not only to vulnerable New Yorkers but to our medical system overall. The extraordinary fiscal progress which NYC Health + Hospitals has made under Dr. Katz’s leadership should be received as great news by everyone who cares about the future of healthcare in New York City.”
As a part of its transformation plan, the public hospital system has made strides to increase revenue and decrease expenses. Overall, FY19 revenue is $62M above the FY19 target. Expenses closed at $24M better than budget. The public health system closed the year with a $36M net positive margin.
The system is also investing in clinical and revenue cycle staff, while reducing its reliance on temporary workers. Full-time staffing remains near historic lows, there were 45,031 NYC Health + Hospitals employees in the fourth quarter. This is slightly higher than the historic low of 44,279.
Technology investments in electronic medical records, EPIC, have also yielded results. The new electronic record has allowed the public health system to better coordinate care for patients while collecting revenue from insurance companies.
With the assistance of GetCoveredNYC and MetroPlus Health plan enrollers, NYC Health + Hospitals is also signing up more New Yorkers for insurance inside NYC Health + Hospitals facilities. The number of insurance applications has increased by 20 percent to over 20,000 per month, and exceeded the target of $40 million in additional revenue for this year. The health system’s revenue growth plan also includes negotiating better rates with various health plans, and improving medical coding to accurately document and bill insurance companies for the patient care provided.
NYC Health + Hospitals is concerned about potential Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments cuts, which would severely affect the institution. Further, the implementation of the public charge rule in mid-October would have a chilling effect on those seeking health services despite the fact that NYC Health + Hospitals services do not trigger the rule.
About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public health care system in the nation, serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 42,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NYCHealthandHospitals or Twitter at @NYCHealthSystem.