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Report concludes quality of New York hospitals is poor


New York's health care system is very expensive and doesn't deliver good hospital care. That's according to the New York Public Interest Research Group in a report called "Code Blue: New York Hospitals' Poor Quality Performance."

According to NYPIRG, federal data used for the report shows the state is filled with hospitals that don't deliver high-quality care comparable to states across the country. Executive Director Blair Horner told a news conference that state leaders don't seem to be paying attention, but he argues this is the year to pay attention. 

"Health care is a huge problem in terms of the funding of the state government," Horner said. "The state is facing a $6+ billion budget deficit, primarily as a result of increased cost in the Medicaid program and we think that as that issue gets addressed, the important thing is to ensure that high-quality care is being delivered in New York State hospitals. We believe not only is it good for patients, but it's cheaper."

The federal data says weak hospital performance is a problem across the state, not just in some regions. Lookout Hill Public Research Associates Glenn von Nostitz said medical care problems like patient readmission is a statewide issue.

"Ninety-seven percent of the hospitals in New York State—87% of the Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester and 49% of the Upstate hospitals—have 'below the national average," von Nostitz said. "Looking at safety of care, 69% of New York City's, 60% of Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester and 40% of Upstate hospitals were rated below the national average."

The report is available at NYPIRG.org.


Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.