As 28 Hospital Closures Loom Across NY State, 1199SEIU Nurses & Caregivers Launch Massive Campaign to Inform the Public That Lives Are at Risk

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Actions will focus on State Senate and Assembly’s refusal to fund vital hospitals, which would result in a lack of medical access for hundreds of thousands of NY’ers from Brooklyn to Buffalo.

Nurses and caregivers are sounding the alarm to let patients and the public know that 28 hospitals from Brooklyn to Buffalo could face imminent closure if the State Senate and Assembly do not include $290 million in crucial funding in the budget. The wave of closures would result in lack of access to critical care, including emergency medical services, for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and the loss of 25,000 jobs.

Statewide Actions:

Wednesday, March 18, 11:30 am
Caregivers prepare for lobbying blitz at State Capitol today
155 Washington Ave., Albany

Thursday, March 19, 6 pm
Hundreds of caregivers from distressed hospitals hold emergency rally and roll out action plan
1199SEIU HQ, 310 W. 43rd St., Manhattan

Other actions across the state to be announced soon.

Background
Twenty-eight severely financially distressed hospitals in all parts of the state are currently receiving Interim Access Assurance Funds through a Federal Medicaid waiver. These funds are helping to “keep the lights on” in distressed hospitals while they transition to health care delivery models that are more sustainable in the changing Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement landscape, including the expansion of less costly outpatient care.

In order to qualify for the funds, the hospitals had to document that they had less than 15 days cash and equivalents, no assets that could be monetized other than those vital to the operation and that they had exhausted all efforts to obtain resources from corporate parents and affiliated entities to sustain operations.

Interim Access Assurance Funding is ending on March 31, 2015. The 2015-16 state Executive budget bill has proposed replacing it with $290 million in Vital Access Provider program funding. These are state dollars that are also matched by federal money. The Assembly budget slashes this funding by $80 million and the Senate budget eliminates the funding entirely. Without full funding of the Vital Access Provider program, the 28 distressed hospitals will face imminent closure. Given how little cash on hand the hospitals have, the closings will be chaotic, sudden and dangerous, putting the health and lives of New Yorkers at risk. Communities will be without vital emergency services for heart attacks, strokes, car accidents and other urgent crises. Patients with life-threatening illnesses will be left to find other providers in the middle of treatment.

For a full list of hospitals facing possible closure visit: http://www.1199seiu.org/SaveNYHospitals

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1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest union in New York and the largest healthcare union in the nation. We represent over 400,000 total members throughout New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Florida. Our mission is to achieve quality care and good jobs for all.

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