Thursday, May 30, 2013

Is SUNY Downstate Missing the Boat by Restructuring without LICH?

SUNY Downstate. Photo: Google Maps
SUNY sees no role for its most valuable and potentially profitable hospital -- Long Island College Hospital (LICH) -- in its SUNY Downstate restructuring plan, which it presented on Tuesday.

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, the plan includes downsizing Downstate, forming a network with other Brooklyn hospitals, and seeking another operator to take over some or all of LICH in Cobble Hill.

SUNY says the proposed network of hospitals would streamline health services throughout the borough and bring in revenue to other financially-shaky hospitals. SUNY is asking for $435 million in transition funds over four years from the state.

While many aspects of the plan make sense, it disappoints by overlooking the critical role LICH plays in north-central and Downtown Brooklyn.

While SUNY Downstate has made LICH out to be a money-losing proposition, doctors at the hospital say that much of its financial difficulties stem from SUNY's mismanagement and Continuum's flawed contract with LICH to oversee billing and IT.

Doctors and staff complain that Continuum doesn't bill for a large percentage of services, meaning LICH has essentially been providing health care for free to a substantial portion of patients.

As LICH is in better physical shape than Downstate and better positioned geographically to attract patients with insurance, SUNY would lose less money by suing Continuum and expanding LICH -- not dumping it.

- SUNY survival plan: Shrink Downstate, form Brooklyn hospital network, ditch LICH. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- SUNY Plans To Give Up Management Of LICH As Part Of Restructuring Plan [NY1]

- Is SUNY's Search for LICH Buyer 'Designed to Fail?'

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

No comments: