How Cuomo Gutted the New York Hospital System

April 1, 2020 — The current shortage of hospital beds in New York is directly related to slashes Governor Cuomo has overseen in Albany for nearly a decade.

The most recent example is Beth Israel Hospital: Cuomo supports slashing the 800-bed hospital in Manhattan to a mere 70 beds! That proposal is on the table right now just as Cuomo had to beg President Trump to send a make-shift floating hospital on a battle ship and build emergency temporary hospital tents in Central Park.

According to Public Health Advocate Lois Uttley MPP, there is a 24-person board called the PHHPC that decides what does and does not happen to all New York hospitals. All 24 people are hand picked by Governor Cuomo. Only one of those people represents patient and public interests. The rest are executives of the very hospitals that have been requesting mergers and downsizing for years.

The same way Big Pharma has captured the CDC, FDA, and NIH, New York Hospital Executives have captured the PHHPC – thanks to Cuomo. The decisions made by this board are effectively hidden from the public. In Connecticut, they post all of their completed files regarding this process on their public website. New York does not.

What is Cuomo hiding?

Here is what Lois Uttley recommended in a 2018 report published by Merger Watch regarding how to address the corruption Cuomo oversees when it comes to downsizing hospitals:

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Increase the number of consumer representatives on the PHHPC.

Currently, only one seat on the 24-member PHHPC is specifically designated for a representative of a health care consumer advocacy organization (39), and it has been vacant since mid-2016. Other states have more CON review board seats earmarked for consumer representatives. For example, New Jersey requires that five of the nine board members who review CON applications are consumer representatives. Maryland’s review board has 15 members, nine of whom are consumer representatives. Delaware’s board has four out of 15 members from the “public-at-large,” and requires that the Chair and Vice Chair of the board are both appointed from among those four members.

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New York is one of the most corrupt states in America.

Uttley tells us here that New Jersey has a much better system for ensuring the public has voice in the process of what happens to their hospitals. Interestingly New Jersey has been able to stop legislation that would repeal the Religious Exemption to vaccination. In New York, the Religious Exemption to vaccination was repealed in less than 7 hours with absolutely no input from the public. New York is corrupt in other ways as well. Natural healing expert Dr. Gary Null is one of the largest fundraisers of all time for PBS – but not in New York. Null is not allowed to fund raise for PBS in New York due to corruption and censorship. He is allowed to do so in dozens of other states, but not the Big Mango.

To better understand how good-ol’ NY corruption impacts our hospital system, read the Executive Summary of Uttley’s report. Here’s a section of it:

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The number of hospital beds being decertified across New York State jumped from 102 in 2015 to 440 in 2017, with the largest losses occurring in medical/surgical, psychiatric, maternity and pediatric care, according to New York State Department of Health data.

A group of large non-profit health systems has been steadily moving to manage or acquire many of the remaining community hospitals in the state. The 12 largest systems now control half of all the acute care hospitals in New York and 70 percent of the inpatient acute care beds. Four mega-systems – New York-Presbyterian, Northwell Health, NYU Hospitals Center and Mount Sinai Health System – have accumulated multiple hospitals and a combined total of $14.2 billion in net assets, giving them significant economic power and ability to shape the health system.

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New York does not have any for-profit hospitals, but they do have private non-profit hospitals. While money is not supposed to be a motivating factor for non-profits, it is. The interest of patients and the public is always secondary to the bottom-line of the hospitals, and the recent COVID-19 crisis underlines this example perfectly.

How incredibly stupid does Cuomo look having Beth Israel’s bed capacity on the chopping block right now at this moment while making public appearances daily to discuss the coming crisis of hospital bed capacity in NYC?

To top it all off, Cuomo is advocating massive cuts to Medicaid right now that will hurt millions, especially disabled children.

Don’t believe the hype! Cuomo is no hero!

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Learn more at the following links:

Read the entire report from Merger Watch that was referenced in the report at the following link: EMPOWERING NEW YORK IN AN ERA OF CONSUMERS CONSOLIDATION HOSPITAL

Community Voices for Health System Accountability https://www.facebook.com/CV4HSA/