Stanzione: LICH Adding Services; to Expand Further After Merger

Andy Campbell of The Brooklyn Paper this week interviewed representatives of three Brooklyn hospitals, including Long Island College Hospital along with Maimonides Medical Center and Methodist Hospital. Asked what LICH was doing to stand out among other hospitals, interim president Dominick Stanzione said:

It’s important that LICH remain a full-service hospital, serving the community. The merger [a pending one with SUNY Downstate] provides an opportunity to expand that service, rather than consolidate it. Even before that happens, we’re in the process of adding additional services.

Stanzione also described the healthcare system as “broken”, and said it “needs to be fixed”, but thinks the plan currently proposed “would not be particularly helpful to New York.”

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  • Doug Biviano

    In reading this piece, it would seem the solution to the problems with our healthcare system is 100% private health insurance and that would hardly be healthy.

    Ironically, this piece so misses the mark that one is more likely to walk away believing public funding of healthcare is the problem rather than reading between the lines and realizing that, without public funding, these very hospitals would not be economically viable in the first place.

    It would behoove the heads of these hospitals to always make it a point to explain how vital public funding and philanthropy is to their survival and to discern between MediCAID and MediCARE when discussing the pros and cons regarding revenue streams. They should also not be afraid to discuss the problems with private insurance. As it appears, there are none.

    Private insurance may be better for a hospital than MediCAID on an all or nothing micro level, but given the macro reality of access, demographics and economic cycles, growing private health insurance is simply not sustainable with its economic inefficiencies, barriers and profit motives.

    Missing is what would happen if there was no MediCAID or, when considering overall reimbursement rates of patient claims, MediCARE proves to be a much better model than private insurance, especially when inefficiencies of collection costs are factored in for private insurance companies withholding payment and lost revenue for those without coverage. “Medicare for All” is clearly cheaper for the consumer and tax payer and the most viable solution for hospitals and providers.

    Ultimately, the private insurance system is so fundamentally flawed — and providers should express this — that it sets us up to rely on public funding of our healthcare at the worst possible time, during economic downturn, when unemployment swells the ranks of MediCAID and other public programs like Family Health Plus (a NY State program) in the face of massive government budgets cuts. This defies how sound budgets are established (i.e. over the long haul), creating instant budgetary shock. Frankly, it’s fiscally irresponsible, but who would expect anything less from the corrupt incumbents in Washington and Albany.

  • Doug Biviano

    Here’s a link to our “Healthcare Uncovered” forum we held during our City Council campaign in August 2009.

    I apologize in advance for misplacing a few parts of the video, but it’s still pretty insightful, especially when LICH Pediatrician Stephen Turner discusses some of the major reimbursement problems with private health insurance companies (Part 4):

    In Part 4, Columbia University Professor David Eisenbach tells a compelling history of how healthcare gets attached to employment.

    In Part 5, Healthcare policy analyst Dr. Betsy Rosenthal does some Q&A (she’s a Single-Payer “Medicare for All” advocate).

    We need to ask ourselves why sitting politicians are not holding serious forums that actually address the fundamental problems of our healthcare system to find serious comprehensive solutions as opposed to screaming match “Town Hall” forums and do something about it.

  • AAR

    Thanks Doug! On target analysis. When I was a hospital administrator Medicare and Medicaid were among our best and most predictable payers. Private insurance, including Blue Cross, were more problematic. Just when we figured out how to survive under new rules, the rules changed. We were always behind — providing care and being slowly reimbursed or not at all. Hospitals may be inefficient, but the system of payment makes it impossible to know within any reasonable range what the bottom line will be by the end of the year.