Report: NYS Clinics Chronically in the Red

New York State’s ailing hospitals have garnered headlines as workers and management wage a very public campaign against Governor Paterson’s proposed budget cuts. A new study suggests the financial health of smaller clinics is also precarious. WNYC’s Fred Mogul has more.

REPORTER: The governor has pledged to shift resources away from hospitals and toward smaller clinics. They could use the money. The New York State Health Foundation study finds a group of 400 clinics statewide lost money every year from 2001 to 2007.

Reimbursement levels from both the Medicaid system and private insurers haven’t kept pace with increasing costs, many of which come from serving patients without insurance. And the time lags for payments are among the longest in any healthcare setting, with many clinics waiting to get paid for a full year after seeing a patient. For WNYC, I’m Fred Mogul.