Cuomo Administration to LICH: Drop Dead

A decision by officials in Governor Cuomo’s administration to delay release of funds needed to finance the merger of Long Island College Hospital with SUNY Downstate Medical Center may have doomed the local health care facility, which could be forced to shut down next month.

New York Times: A struggling Brooklyn hospital is making plans to shut down in March after a decision by the Cuomo administration to delay grants to help finance a merger intended to rescue the institution, officials said on Wednesday.

The hospital, Long Island College Hospital, on the border of Cobble Hill and Brooklyn Heights, announced in October that it was merging with SUNY Downstate Medical Center, a major public university and medical center, as part of a deal put together last fall by former Gov. David A. Paterson and state health officials.

According to the Times story, Stanley Brezenoff, chairman of Continuum Health Partners, which now manages LICH, said the hospital is “running on fumes” and doesn’t have enough cash to last through next month.

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  • Lauren

    As someone who has personally experienced the horror of a very time-sensitive medical emergency in the past, I really value knowing that there is a hospital nearby. Where is Brooklyn Hospital?

    Cat, that’s interesting that an ambulance would only take you to somewhere else in Brooklyn. Do you know why that is?

  • x

    if trauma occurs immediately near a hospital, I believe ambulances can drop you off at that particularly hospital for immediate attention.

    Ambulances are not mobile hospitals so the quicker you can to the hospital, the better your chances are.

  • x

    If you guys expect Beverly Hills-esque hospital with ocean views and 5 star hotel service, you will not get that in 99% of NYC hospitals, including LICH.

    However, there are highly qualified doctors and nurses there who can keep you alive and get you home asap, which is the goal for any hospital.

    This isn’t a medical spa, if there is such a thing.

  • Eddy de Lectron

    @Cat, Incorrect, an ambulance will take you out of Brooklyn, if you request a particular hospital or if you need special treatment, not available locally.

  • william

    It may disappoint some people, but without LICH, I would be dead and buried by now.

  • Andrew Porter

    George Earl, I was self-employed since 1975, and have paid directly for my medical insurance since then. I am currently paying $12,000 a year (GHI Direct Pay) for that. Happily, I will get Medicare this year. But I am no rich fat cat with a company paid medical plan.

    Incidentally, when I did have to go to the LICH ER, GHI did *not* pay for it.

  • Holla

    Funny, Cuomo was investigating Continuum and where the money from the Othmer fund went some years ago. I heard Stanley Brezenoff from Continuum has a lot of political pull and told him to back off or he would not be governor. Now Cuomo may be the final nail in LICH’s coffin.

  • Holla

    To EhinBH ….you are really naive. Grow some grass? I bet Trump will be building another big building in it’s place. I don’t even think lich owns the parking lot anymore. It is run by a company. Helloo neighbors. If u call EMS u will go to the nearest hospital in Brooklyn. In an emergency situation you will not be going over the bridge to your beloved Manhattan.

  • HC

    Blaming hospitals for losing money is an easy way out:

    – Check your latest claims from your insurance company and see what the hospital billed for the services and what they got for reimbursement. There is a lot of times a huge discrepancy.

    – Insurances pay a flat fee for specific conditions for a fixed amount of time. If the insurance pays for 5 days as this is the time the condition is typically taken care off, but the patient stays 10 days, these extra 5 days come out of the hospitals pocket. Those extra 5 days means a bed is being used without being able to admit a new patient bringing in money. If the patient contracts any other condition while in the hospital some insurance dont pay for that care.

    – The hospital’s income depends on the patient population of the patients and what insurance they have. There are hospitals in the city who dont make any money as the patients are mostly medicaid/medicare, dont have insurance, are illegally here. They heavily depend on the government for funding. People who dont have insurance go to the ER as they cannot be turned away.

    – If the wealthy BH people go to Manhattan, that is income lost for the hospital.

    – Years ago I had an insurance plan where around my work place I found about 20 doctors who accepted that plan. In the 11201 zipcode alone I found over 150 that would take my insurance. Looking at the claims i understood why the doctors around my work place did not take that plan. You cant afford a 5th/park Avenue office when you get $30 out of a patient visit.

    – Yes, there is mismanagement in the hospitals. There are some who are family hospitals where people look out for each other. You do find that somewhere else too of course.

    – There are also people in the hospitals that stuff their own pockets, e.g. by working as a C-Suite for every single company the hospital owns and charging a full 40 hr week. A case comes to mind from a few years ago where 3 C-suites billed over 200 hrs per week.

    – I have been to the ER at LICH and it was not bad. The stuff was friendly and got done what needed to be done.

    – If you are interested in other shady deals that are going on with politicans involved google ANTHONY SEMINERIO, the Berger commission and how it affected Parkway hospital.

    So just stating its a bad hospital and mismanaged is not the entire truth.

    I personally prefer to have a hospital around close to me.

  • Johny

    LICH is a great local hospital, no thrills 5 stars for sure, but way enough for 95% of emergency situations, that should be enough to fight for its survival.

    + My 2 daughters were born there in the last 5 yrs.

  • DrSue

    Our family has had both positive and negative experiences with LICH. Except in emergencies, we now go elsewhere for medical care.

    But the need for a local emergency resource is only part of the issue. The hospital doesn’t exist only for upper middle class BH/CH/CG residents. My understanding is that it is the most reasonable alternative for many residents of Red Hook, Gowanus, and parts of Sunset Park. The fact that most of us have decent insurance that allows us to plan for non-emergency medical care at higher-level facilities doesn’t mean the hospital isn’t utilized or needed by those with fewer options. What will happen to them?

  • Johny

    Dr Sue, unfortunatly those who despise LICH, don’t care about others, they only focus on their self interest and they have the financial means to do just that, until…

  • Eddy de Lectron

    I have had 3 surgeries and numerous ER visits at LICH, I have no major complaints. While they may not be the best hospital in the city they are far far form the worst. Ever been to Coney Island Hospital? That place is shockingly horrible; like something you’d expect to see in the third world, I’m not kidding. Anyone who thinks it would be best to let LICH close is shortsighted. Brooklyn Hospital is located on the other side of Flatbush Ave, during heavy traffic, even an ambulance could take10 minutes to get there. LICH is a minute or two away from anywhere in the Heights and it is located right off the BQE, making it a valuable resource for the area. We need it to remain open, and make it better.

  • cat

    @ Lauren & @Eddy: We just had an emergency situation with our daughter (not life or death). We were at Aviator Sports skating rink farther out in B’lyn. Our pediatrician said to take her to Bellevue. The EMS who arrived said they had to get permission to take her out of the borough. Permission was denied. We decided to take her to Bellevue ourselves, but had to sign papers to decline EMS transporting her to whatever hospital was closest to Floyd Bennett Field. If it had been a life or death emergency, the time it took for all that bureaucratic maneuvering would not have been a good thing.

  • Ooops!

    For those of you who are concerned about LICH’s medical quality, this should make you even more unhappy that Downstate is taking over LICH: