Among the Medicare cuts in President Obama’s proposed deficit-reduction plan are decreases in the amount that teaching hospitals are paid to train doctors and fund their medical equipment and facilities. That would hit cities like Boston and New York, which are heavy on these institutions, particularly hard. (New York State trains about 16,000 doctors a year, which is 14.5 percent of the nation’s total and more than any other state.) In fact, according to the Times, the city of New York could lose $1.25 billion a year starting in 2015, which is over half of what they get annually from the current Medicare subsidies for medical education. The top three hospitals that would be hardest hit, according to lobbyists, would be in New York: the Bronx’s Montefiore Medical Center, and Mount Sinai and New York-Presbyterian in Manhattan. Montefiore alone stands to lose $100 million a year. Hospital spokespeople say this would push the already borderline hospitals firmly into the red, but critics of the subsidies say that they actually overestimate the cost of training doctors.
For an in-depth look at the financial troubles of our city hospitals, check out Mark Levine’s New York story from late last year.