Albany, NY — The average profit margins of New York hospitals — and the share of institutions operating in the black — hit their highest levels in at least five years in 2021, according to a new analysis of the most recent data published by the Empire Center.
The report comes on the heels of hospital officials reporting, in state budget testimony, that hospital finances took a turn for the worse in 2022. Officials said they face a “dire fiscal crisis” and urged the Legislature to boost Medicaid hospital fees by 10 percent, double the amount proposed by Governor Hochul.
Hospital revenues statewide increased by $20 billion — nearly 30 percent — from 2017 to 2021, which was almost three times the rate of inflation. NewYork-Presbyterian, the state’s largest hospital, reported a profit of almost $1.5 billion, which is likely a state record.
“New York lawmakers should view the industry’s claims about Medicaid skeptically,” said Bill Hammond, senior fellow for health policy at the Empire Center and author of the paper. “Overall hospital spending is already high, and rising fast. As they finalize this year’s budget, lawmakers should avoid large across-the-board increases and other policies that would direct more tax dollars to hospitals already operating comfortably in the black.”
Hammond also explained that financial stress facing some New York hospitals is likely driven more by high spending levels than by inadequate state reimbursements, noting that New York’s hospital spending per capita and Medicaid spending per enrollee are among the highest in the country.
The Empire Center, based in Albany, is an independent, not-for-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to promoting policies that can make New York a better place to live, work and raise a family.