NYC union calls on Eric Adams to halt hospital rate hikes
It’s enough to make you sick.
One of the city’s biggest labor unions is urging Mayor Eric Adams to stop private hospitals from ratcheting up the prices of procedures — insisting it could save the Big Apple billions amid a looming financial crisis.
The 32BJ union, which represents more than 100,000 real estate services workers, commissioned a report that found the city overpays nearly $2 billion a year in hospital bills, with private providers paying three to four times that for the same services demand than the public system.
The union argues that curbing sky-high differential rates is needed now more than ever as the city seeks to cut costs across the board as it faces a projected $10 billion deficit.
“With the city facing a massive budget deficit and spending cuts that will affect its ability to serve New Yorkers, we cannot duplicate the disaster by also paying billions of dollars for inflated hospital bills,” said Manny Patreich, Treasurer of the union, told The Poste this week.
“We rely on hospitals to act in good faith, but as we head into Thanksgiving and the holiday season, it’s nothing to be thankful for when they see they’re taking millions more in tax breaks than they’re going into our communities.” invest while charging outrageous prices.”
The 32BJ Health Fund report, revised earlier this month, found a number of discrepancies between private and public hospital costs:
- An inpatient cesarean averaged around $17,861 at a NYC Health + Hospitals facility, but rose to just over $55,077 at the private Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx.
- An outpatient colonoscopy averaged $10,368 at New York-Presbyterian to $2,185 at the city’s public hospitals.
- Outpatient cataract surgery averages $4,245 in the public system but goes up to $18,144 at NYU Langone Health
- An outpatient gallbladder surgery costs an average of $4,594 at a NYC Health + Hospitals facility but costs $19,039 at Northwell Health hospitals.
- An outpatient breast biopsy would net a person an average of $3,363 in a public hospital, but $8,674 in Montefiore.
As part of a multimillion-dollar campaign, 32BJ has partnered with the Realty Advisory Board to launch two new television ads this week, urging the Adams administration to consider skyrocketing hospital prices amid the city’s overall budget woes.
“The prognosis is grim. And it’s not just winter. New York City is facing a $10 billion budget deficit,” reads one of the ads, referring to state comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s bleak economic forecasts.
“But there is money to plug the hole. If the city had looked in the right place. The city could overpay for hospital bills by as much as $2 billion each year, according to a new report. These are important resources lost to schools and other city services. Our leaders must act because watching hospitals ratchet up prices while our city struggles is enough to sicken you.”
The second ad cites findings from a newly released report by the Lown Institute, which argues that city tax breaks for private hospitals are not worth it.
“Storming hospital prices are costing working people thousands of dollars in lost income. Medical debt is the leading cause of bankruptcy today,” the ad said.
“Yet some of New York’s largest private hospitals received $700 million more in tax breaks than they spent on benefits — while patients continue to pay higher rates.”
City Hall has already ordered a series of belt-tightening measures, including eliminating vacancies in city agencies and ordering nationwide cuts to close a $2.9 billion budget shortfall this year.
“Hospital charges are one of the biggest expenses for the city’s largest public and private employers. It’s not fiscally sensible or sustainable to continue paying billions in hospital bills when the city is facing a large budget deficit and businesses are struggling to reclaim jobs,” said Howard Rothschild, president of the Realty Advisory Board.
The 32BJ union is also urging City Hall to pass legislation next month sponsored by Councilwoman Julie Menin (D-Upper East Side) that would create a new “hospital transparency” office.
The city doesn’t have the power to cap rates, but the bill would help force hospitals and insurance companies to disclose their negotiated rates.
A City Hall spokesman told The Post, “We look forward to reviewing these bills when they are introduced and working with partners in the council and in the workplace to ensure every New Yorker has access to quality and affordable health care.” Has.”
Meanwhile, the Greater New York Hospital Association, which advocates for a number of private hospitals across the Big Apple, believes the bill is “bad public policy.”
“Hospitals in New York City post both their rates and user-friendly calculators online to help individuals estimate their costs. They are doing this to meet federal requirements, which cover all US hospitals,” GNYHA President Kenneth E. Raske said in a statement.
“Any advertising campaign should focus on national health insurers making massive profits on the backs of hospitals, their staff and the individuals who pay their premiums. The share prices of these insurance giants have soared in recent years, while many hospitals have struggled to stay afloat.
“Their profits are driven by the denial of legitimate claims for medically necessary procedures, leaving hospitals, physicians and consumers in the bag. Common sense dictates not to blame the victim, but that’s exactly what’s happening here. It is time to bring this topic into focus.”
https://nypost.com/2022/11/25/union-urges-eric-adams-to-stop-private-hospitals-jacking-up-procedure-prices/ NYC union calls on Eric Adams to halt hospital rate hikes