New York hospitals in weak financial shape

New York state’s money for health care is spread so thin among its “too many hospitals” that its medical facilities are financially among the weakest in the nation, the health commissioner said in a New York Times story.

Dr. Richard Daines spoke to The Associated Press on Friday as health officials fielded proposals for St. Vincent’s Hospital, a 160-year-old Greenwich Village facility with a debt of about $2 million per bed. That’s four times the state’s average debt of $500,000 per hospital bed, Daines said.

St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers, which operates the hospital, filed for bankruptcy protection owing at least $1 billion, making it economically unfeasible to operate the full-service hospital in a cash-strapped state, the commissioner said.

“New York has too many hospitals, and we’re just about the weakest financial picture of hospitals in the country,” Daines told the AP in his Manhattan office.

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