Monday, April 29, 2013

SUNY Withdraws Plan to Cash In on LICH; Now SUNY Should Give Back the $32 Million, and Continuum Should Face Criminal Penalties

After protests, a law suit, petitions, letter-writing campaigns, meetings with state officials, marches and rallies . . .

SUNY Downstate Medical Center on Friday said it would withdraw its plan, submitted to the state Department of Health, to close Long Island College Hospital (LICH).

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, Downstate spokesperson Ron Najman said that Downstate “would continue to seek a provider of healthcare services within the LICH community, including potentially a hospital operator.”

“The financial conditions at LICH remain unchanged. LICH’s continued financial losses still threaten the viability of Downstate Medical and our world-renowned medical school,” said Dr. John F. Williams Jr., president of SUNY Downstate.

We have three suggestions about where to find cash for LICH: Two medical institutions brazenly stole millions from LICH and NO ONE is doing anything:

* According to state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, when SUNY Downstate took over LICH two years ago, $32.7 million was transferred from LICH’s accounts to SUNY's “Health Science Center at Brooklyn Foundation, Inc.” a not-for-profit corporation. SUNY must give LICH's money back.

* In 2008, when it was Continuum who was draining LICH of resources, Dr. Arnold Licht, president of LICH medical staff, charged: “Continuum has refused to account for money it has ‘borrowed’ from LICH’s endowment, for millions from the sale of LICH’s property, and even for bills it has imposed on LICH.” Continuum must give the money back -- or face criminal penalty.

* Today Continuum still charges LICH millions for handling its billing -- but it does not send out bills for a vast percentage of work doctors do at LICH. If the bills don't go out within a certain number of days, LICH forfeits that money. LICH has been losing millions through Continuum's inability to send out bills -- and the way we see it Continuum owes LICH this money -- plus interest.

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