Panel: New York should eliminate 3,000 nursing home beds

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A New York healthcare commission Tuesday recommended shutting down 3,000 nursing home beds, or 3% of the state's total bed volume. The panel also recommended closing nine hospitals, and 7% of the overall bed supply.

The Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century, which released its report after 18 months of work, said the moves would produce an estimated total benefit to payers and providers of more than $1.5 billion annually. That includes an estimated $806 million a year in savings to Medicaid and other payers.

Overall, the recommendations would affect about one-fourth of the hospitals in New York and eliminate 4,200 beds.

The panel's recommendations will become law unless the state Legislature or Gov. George Pataki (R) rejects all measures of the report. State officials must keep or reject all the recommendations, under the law that created the commission.