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New recommendations released to improve New York hospitals

New York state officials are trying to do what they can to improve care, reduce costs and hospital negligence at health care facilities in Brooklyn and across the state.

Recently, a group appointed by the governor released a report recommending that the state health commissioner be given the power to replace executives and board members of private hospitals. In addition, the group recommends changes in laws to allow big companies to invest in private hospitals and physicians' practices.

Both of these recommendations are aimed at helping the failing hospitals in Brooklyn and others all across the state of New York. The group believes these changes would help hospitals adjust to new state and federal financing.

The report was met with some opposition. The president of the hospital lobbying group in New York says they oppose hospitals that are owned by investors and believe the state powers should be limited and applied only to hospitals that are seeking state aid.

According to the report, three different hospitals in Brooklyn are in immediate danger of closing due to financial troubles. The report recommends that they, along with three others, merge with other facilities.

The report points out that hospitals in financial trouble would not be bailed out and would have to apply for aid based on new models to reduce health care costs and improve care.

The report will now be sent to the state health commissioner who will discuss the proposed plans with legislators, hospital administrators and other local officials.

According to the news source, the state health commissioner signaled approval of the proposed plan by announcing that $450 million in grants will be available early next year to help health care facilities reduce inpatient care.

Source: The New York Times, "Panel Urges Sharp Change for Hospitals in Brooklyn," Nina Bernstein, Nov. 28, 2011

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