Friday, February 11, 2011

Donald and Mildred: We're Sorry About Losing All Your Money, and the Hospital, Too

UPDATE: The merger is back on! LICH is saved (until the next crisis). More here.

Donald and Mildred: We're sorry. We're sorry we couldn't fight their lawyers and their back-room deals. We're sorry that the Dept. of Health ignored the Long Island College Hospital (LICH) doctors who wanted to testify about what was really going on at the hospital. We're sorry we lost all that damn money, money you gave with good intentions.

And if it happens, we're sorry we lost the hospital, too.

The $140 million bequest by Brooklyn Heights residents Donald and Mildred Othmer to Long Island College Hospital has been sucked dry by Continuum Health Partners, and now the magical merger with SUNY Downstate that was supposed to keep LICH open appears to be going bad fast, under the steely gaze of Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Assemblywoman Joan Millman told the Brooklyn Eagle that state Sen. Daniel Squadron, Borough President Marty Markowitz and Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, among others, are hoping to set up a meeting with the state to try to salvage the merger.

Stanley Brezenoff, president of Continuum Health Partners, told the New York Times that the hospital was “running on fumes,” and would run out of cash by mid-March. At that point he "would be forced to begin bankruptcy proceedings and move forward with closing the hospital and laying off its 2,500 employees."

What a surprise.

In 2009 Dennis Hamill wrote in the NY Daily News:

"Under Continuum, the once-profitable LICH has been hemorrhaging red ink by some $1 million a month. [Dr. John Romanelli, head of the LICH medical staff] says Continuum cannibalized LICH for the benefit of the network's Manhattan mother ship, Beth Israel. Then Continuum dumped LICH in an orphan's basket on the state's doorstep."

Then Hamill predicted the future:

"I can't imagine that savvy Andrew Cuomo, the likely next governor of New York, is going to let Continuum's back room brokered LICH/Downstate merger happen with a nose-crinkling rubber stamp by DOH."

In its Capabilities Report, Continuum, with an annual operating budget of $2.1 billion, says it has "A Business Model With Significant Advantages."

You betcha!

Beth Israel in Manhattan has recently acquired a new 64-slice CT angiography scanner, has doubled the size of its emergency room, has launched the Gerald J. Friedman Diabetes Institute, and has undertaken an extensive renovation of 12 inpatient units, along with countless other improvements.

How nice for them.

Photo by MK Metz

Delay of State Money for Merger May Force a Hospital in Brooklyn to Close  NY Times

Brooklyn Struggles To Save LICH  Brooklyn Eagle

- Gov. Paterson Announced LICH /SUNY Deal in Brooklyn Today
- Insurance Trouble at Brooklyn's LICH 
- Petition to Save LICH 
- Sucking Long Island Collage Hospital Dry? 
- Long Island College Hospital In Big Trouble

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

No comments: