The three State University of New York Hospitals in Syracuse, Brooklyn, and Stony Brook were established as clinical classrooms for the growing State University and three of its four medical schools. At the core, their status as elite teaching hospitals dictate an overall mission to educate the next generation of health care providers, care for the sickest and most financially vulnerable New Yorkers, provide the highest level of care with advanced technology, and offer safety net services to the communities they serve. Overall, New York’s private medical schools show but 40 percent of their entering class coming from New York State. SUNY’s four medical schools are in the 85 percent range.
While public, the three SUNY hospitals are not tied to a specific municipality or the State Department of Health. Like a Department of Health facility, they are subject to regulatory oversight, but neither the state nor SUNY is compelled to support them through a prescribed formula. They are not supported by general State funds allocated to SUNY by their Income Fund Reimbursable (IFR) status. In the late 1990’s, the three institutions won a hard fought battle for more autonomy and operating flexibility. Central to that effort was an independent PriceWaterhouseCoopers audit of the three institutions that showed them to be efficient and effective deliverers of care. Accompanying the audit was a recommended requirement that the State of New York provide a supplement each year to acknowledge the “Public Mission” of these unique institutions – defined as those costs that SUNY hospitals have to absorb that their competitors and peer institutions do not.