New York City Hospital Crisis: Teetering on the Edge of Disaster – or Opportunity for Change?


February 22, 2011 — Harvard Club of New York
8:00am – 11:00am

The Executive Council is hosting an invitation-only forum designed to allow New York City’s top health care leaders to engage in meaningful dialogue that results in transformational dialogue and practical take-ways.

This peer-to-peer forum goes beyond “crystal-balling” and focuses on actionable insights.

100-125 C-Level and other senior executives leading their organizations. These are executives responsible for the healthcare efforts, purchasing and investment decisions. Titles are VP+ with an emphasis on the C-level.  Executives from across the healthcare spectrum, including:
• General C-level (Payer, Provider, Hospital, Insurance, IT)
• Private Equity and Venture Capital Professionals
• City and State Officials
• Business Development, Sales and Marketing Officers

As hospitals go, St. Vincent’s looked like a survivor just a few years ago – it served the City through major crises and was the community hospital to the gentrifying West Village – but we now know its ultimate demise was not unique to its
neighborhood or just a sign of the bad economy the past couple of years. Instead, it appears it could be the first domino to fall in a City where our nearly 60 hospitals are reportedly in a financial distress.

As more hospitals struggle to stay afloat, services could be curtailed and longer lines could be the norm. Uneven care could also be the norm. Even residents that have access to high-quality healthcare will feel the impact. Planned Medicare reductions and threatened State Medicaid cutbacks promise to make this crisis more severe.


  • What is driving the crisis?
  • Are hospitals really on the edge?
  • What can be done to stem the crisis?
  • What are best practices that can be created?
  • How do insurers pay differently so those that do better are able to be successful?
  • Are payers doing enough to change the way we pay?
  • Should patients have freedom of choice to go wherever they want?
  • Should they be limited?
  • As care changes, do we need as many hospitals?

In 2008, New York City hospitals spent $3 billion more on care than they took in. And, they operated at an average of a 6% loss versus the national average of operating at a 4% profit. One of the little discussed consequences of federal health reform and its related significant reductions in Medicare reimbursement will be the relative absence of any kind of margin that can be tapped to pay for capital investment. The lack of capital for IT investment could be devastating for hospitals, particularly those serving Medicaid patients.

Speakers include: Dr. Ralph de la Torre, President & CEO, Caritas Christi Health Care (recent name change to Steward Health Care); Stephen Berger, Chairman, Odyssey Investment Partners and Chairman, Commission on Healthcare Facilities  in the 21st Century; Ken Raske, President, Greater New York Hospital Association; Richard J. Zall, Chair, Healthcare Practice Group, Proskauer LLP and Chair, Executive Council Health care Board; Mark Wagar, President & CEO, Empire BlueCross BlueShield/Wellpoint; Brian Fortune, Marwood Group; Adam Rogoff, Partner, Kramer Levin and Lead Counsel, St. Vincent’s; Pam Brier, President & CEO, Maimonides Medical Center; Chair, Greater New York Hospital Association; Jim Tallon, President, United Hospital Fund of New York; Dr. Herb Pardes, President & CEO, New York-Presbyterian Healthcare System; Christopher Vanuga, Principal, Deloitte Health care

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