The president of New York City's public healthcare system is proposing to cluster the city's 16 acute-care and long-term hospitals, and five diagnostic and treatment centers into six regional healthcare networks.
Each network will be headed by a regional director who will report directly to Bruce Siegel, M.D., president of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corp.
In an interview last week, Dr. Siegel told MODERN HEALTHCARE that he would be unveiling his model for reorganization at the corporation's May 26 board of directors meeting.
The six networks would cover the North Bronx, North Manhattan (Harlem section), South Bronx/North Manhattan, Queens, South Manhattan/East Brooklyn and Brooklyn/Staten Island. At deadline, Dr. Siegel hadn't released names of the new regional directors. Sources said Pamela S. Brier, executive director of Bellevue Hospital Center, is a lead ing contender to head up the South Manhattan/East Brooklyn network.
In recent years, HHC has suffered from alleged quality-of-care problems, management turnover and fiscal imprudence. Recently the corporation's largest construction project was found to be far over budget and behind schedule. And a consultant's report shows that HHC could lose millions in revenue over the next several years unless it retains its current patient base.
When Dr. Siegel joined HHC in February, he immediately confronted a $589.8 million deficit in the corporation's $3.5 billion budget for fiscal 1995. Under his deficit-reduction plan, some 2,200 jobs will be eliminated at year's end.
The regionalization plan is part of his vision for turning HHC into a streamlined, competitive and fiscally sound healthcare system.
Dr. Siegel said the reorganization also is needed to respond to changes in the delivery and financing of healthcare services.
"I need to create a flexible, streamlined system that can compete in managed care. That's sort of the bottom line," he said.
Dr. Siegel also wants to empower each region to handle its own budgeting and planning functions rather than rely so much on HHC's corporate office. Each regional director will be responsible for reducing expenses and meeting certain financial targets; developing marketing and managed-care plans; and planning for needed services, such as primary care.
The regional directors will be held accountable for performance on certain corporatewide standards to be developed, such as patient satisfaction and length of stay.
HHC's corporate office, which is being pared back by half to save $17 million, would handle corporatewide issues such as the development of financial and quality indicators and capital financing.