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NYC’s troubled public hospitals to get big funding increase

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Queens Hospital Center, one of New York’s public hospitals.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council have agreed on an $82.1 billion budget for fiscal 2017,  with the biggest new spending item  a $700 million boost for the city’s public hospital system, which has struggled in recent years because of, among other things, cuts in federal money to hospitals that care for large numbers of uninsured patients.

The  increase represents a  53 percent spending increase for New York Health + Hospitals from fiscal 2014 through  fiscal 2020. However, demographics and federal cuts seem likely  to keep the system deep in the red.

Public hospital officials are trying to draw  far more paying patients and to get more people to sign up for MetroPlus, its own health-insurance plan.

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