Disaster preparedness efforts at 54 New York hospitals cost a total of $90.2 million from Sept. 11, 2001, to Dec. 31, 2002, and were almost entirely funded from general operating revenue, according to a survey by the Greater New York Hospital Association. The 54 hospitals responding to the survey, out of a pool of 106 hospitals, anticipate spending an additional $110.5 million collectively on disaster preparedness in 2003. Less than 7% of the amount already spent -- $5.9 million -- was funded by sources other than general operating revenue, and only $685,000 of 2003 spending will be available from nonoperating sources, the hospitals said. In addition, the hospitals identified $468.6 million in other disaster preparedness projects they would undertake if funding were available. Teaching hospitals averaged $2.1 million in disaster preparedness spending through 2002, compared with a $330,000 average at other hospitals. Projects include redesigned emergency departments, isolation rooms, decontamination showers, emergency backup systems, modified heating and ventilation systems, and protective equipment. -- by Cinda Becker
N.Y. hospitals' disaster preparedness bill mounts
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