Crain's New York Business
March 25, 2014
Despite Bankruptcies, Hospitals Boost Employment
Health care rules the scene in the 2014 Crain's list of top 25 New York area employers. Three of the top 10 are health care systems. The trend is driven in part by an increase in hospital consolidation and suggests that health care will remain a high-volume employer in the area for years to come.
Health care will add about a third of total jobs in the country during the 2012-2022 decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But in New York, the volume of hospital-based jobs may fall as more hospitals downsize. Many jobs will shift to outpatient settings.
Consolidation is common among major health care systems, with last year's merger of Mount Sinai Medical Center and Continuum Health Partners the biggest of the bunch. The new Mount Sinai Health System (No. 9) has more than 32,000 employees—making it one of the largest nongovernment employers in New York.
"A fragmented system is becoming more consolidated through acquisitions and technology," said Amy Shefrin, program officer at the New York State Health Foundation. "By connecting these various providers through electronic records and IT, hospital systems now have visibility into their patients' health beyond the hospital walls."
Other recent deals include the acquisition of Lenox Hill Hospital by the North Shore-LIJ Health System (No. 6), the takeover by New York-Presbyterian Hospital (No. 12) of New York Downtown Hospital, and Montefiore Health System's (No. 15) acquisition of hospitals in the Bronx and lower Westchester.
Across the city, hospital groups have started increasing specialization and scale in one form or another. New York-Presbyterian is expanding and plans to build an ambulatory care center at 1283 York Ave. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (No. 20) and the City University of New York are constructing two medical facilities on the Upper East Side, including a 750,000-square-foot cancer care facility and a 336,000-square-foot science and health professions building. Meanwhile, Montefiore and Simone Development are building a 280,000-square-foot structure at Hutchinson Metro Center in the Bronx.
"Policies and initiatives by the federal government and health insurance companies are rewarding health care companies that can treat a patient across multiple settings, whether in the primary care doctor's office or in the operating room," said Ms. Shefrin. "Health care systems are now incentivized to be big—to acquire physician group practices, bring physician staff in-house, build up outpatient and ambulatory care centers, and spread themselves beyond the hospital campus."
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