Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Sucking Long Island College Hospital Dry?

There are many fine doctors and professionals affiliated with Long Island College Hospital (LICH) in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. It used to be an exceptional hospital.

But mismanagement by Continuum Health Partners is crippling the place.

One family member needed an emergency tetanus shot after 6 p.m. Emergency room wait time: 9 hours. Cost of shot: more than $1000. Another needed a broken bone X-rayed and set. We were advised (by a LICH-affiliated doctor) to bypass LICH altogether and go to another hospital in Manhattan. A relative of ours was told by the urology department after a five-minute consultation that -- I kid you not -- he couldn't possibly be the father of his own three children! (Hmm, they look like him...)

Adding to LICH's financial troubles, some patients have been told by their insurance companies that LICH's billing procedures are chaotic.

Doctors told the Brooklyn Eagle that ever since Continuum Health Partners and Beth Israel Hospital of Manhattan took over, they've been sucking the hospital dry.

Donald Othmer, a Brooklyn Heights chemical engineer who worked at Polytechnic University -- and an old friend of Warren Buffet’s -- left $140 million to the hospital in 1995. Soon after, Continuum bought LICH. And ever since then, says LICH, it has diverted money away from the hospital, and refused to disclose to LICH the details of how the $140 million bequest was appropriated.

Now LICH wants a divorce. But is it too late? More at the Eagle.

Photo by RM, Creative Commons license


Anonymous said...

I couldn't disagree more. We had our 3rd child there, and the care was incredibly good.The doctors were good, the nurses were excellent. It is not a major medical center, but it is fine for a community hospital. The doctors were very progressive and well informed.

Anonymous said...

I am 5 months pregnant and was not happy with LICH in many ways and moved to the Weil Cornel medical center. It took them over a month to transfer my medical records to new doctor. I have heard that LICH is going through financial problems and maybe this is the reason so many doctors have left LICH. I felt like there were not enough staff and Doctors.....

Anonymous said...

I just had major surgery at LICH. I'm still alive to talk about it, so that is a point in their favor. However, morale there is awful. Everyone, it seems, is talking about the problems, where did their endowment go, and wondering about their jobs. Being a patient in this climate is disturbing. LICH is an imporant asset to the region but its problems are having an impact on patient care, I believe. I have never seen such a disorganized operating room, bickering staff and acrimonious negotiations about who would do what while I was being prepped. If I had not been tranquilized I probably would have cancelled the whole procedure. Follow up care is mixed. Attention is perfunctory, like I am not of particular interest now that the $100k surgery is done. On the other hand, I have used the ER twice in the last year or so, and both times was seen promptly (<30 min wait). There are much worse ERs in the area, trust me on that; I would still pick LICH for anything less than a crisis. I just wish they would deal with the management issue and get back to their mission.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to say that your relative, who was told he could not possibly be the father of his 3 children, might have Kartagener's syndrome, which can be diagnosed by simply glancing at a chest x-ray or other techniques that only require 5 minutes.... If the urologist said that, it might mean that your relative is sterile and could not possibly father any children.

Anonymous said...

I took my daughter to LICH at 1230am on a friday night. She had some type of food poisoning and had been sick for almost five hours. My wait was less than ten minutes even though there were others ahead of her. The staff and doctors were very attentive in the cardio dept.