Marty on LICH: They’re Closing the Maternity Ward?

The saga of the downsizing of Long Island College Hospital continued this week with local representatives calling for a little sanity to be injected into the situation.  LICH owners Continuum Partners are trying to dig the hospital out of a $170 million hole by cutting beds, services and selling some of its building.   NY State Senator Martin Connor commented this week that their rationale may need a little tweaking:

Brooklyn Eagle: Officials Urge…: State Sen. Marty Connor asked why, when Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens’ populations are growing younger, the hospital would choose to cut its maternity ward. “Maybe instead, they should have cut gerontology,” said the veteran political leader.

“They say they are losing money with obstetrics and gynecology,” said Connor. “Well, from what this layman understands, every hospital loses money with obstetrics and gynecology. It’s what the supermarket calls a ‘loss leader,’ because maternity patients form relationships with doctors whom they continue to use.”

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  • ABC

    I dont understand this headline. Are you suggesting he didn’t know they were closing OB?

    And yes, OB is a portal into a hospital. Giving birth is often the first major hospital experience a family has and people tend to go back to that hospital for other needs down the road. Of course, with LICH, many people vowed never to go the hospital again after having a baby there.

  • bornhere

    LICH is a horror — from their ER to inpatient to professional to support staff. It is shameful that it is allowed to operate and provide “service” to anyone — rich or poor, insured or uninsured. There has to be an explanation beyond “the crisis in healthcare” that accounts for this; and it cannot be blamed on the communities it serves: Mt Sinai, Beth Israel, and other NY hospitals serve widely diverse communities, yet one probably doesn’t feel the need to hose down and check WebMD after seeking their intervention. It’s also unfortunate that almost all of our neighborhood docs, some of whom are okay, invariably have privileges only at LICH, thus creating a real dilemma regarding convenient, accessible, quality care.
    I’m curious about how many people seek primary or specialty care from local vs Manhattan docs, but, when it comes to something more than routine, tend to look elsewhere.

  • nicky215

    I went to the ER and was charged several hundred dollars for nothing. After continuing pain I we nt to my internist in Manhattan who was apalled by the care i recieved and made a proper diagnosis. The hospital and the care it renders are a disgrace

  • T.K. Small

    The borderline criminal situation that has been allowed to fester at LICH for years is simply outrageous. Having a quality neighborhood health care facility is an important resource.

    My experiences with the hospital are perhaps greater than most people in this area. I was born there and 1965, my father’s life was probably saved their two or three times, my mother had one major surgery and my sister gave birth to a perfect little girl named Cordelia Marie. Additionally, my doctor used to be the head of neurology, so I am fairly familiar with some of the “behind the scenes” considerations.

    It is definitely a bad idea to ignore the problems at LICH and let the hospital deteriorate to the point that it gets shut down and converted to luxury housing. Local politicians need to do more to demand accountability. Perhaps it is okay to go to a boutique Park Avenue doctor for plastic surgery or some other elective procedure, but when the immediate need for medical assistance occurs due to an unforeseen-unpredictable event, LICH should be the place that Brooklyn Heights residents go without trepidation.

  • bornhere

    I don’t know what “civilians” can do about any of this. That we don’t have a nearby, reliable, and quality healthcare facility is pretty troubling, especially for emergency situations in which there is not the luxury of choice. (I can only imagine how those who have to count on Woodhull must feel ….)
    I wonder how much money LICH spent on reinventing their ER, when all it seemed to accomplish was endless relocations and reconfigurations. I got to see what goes on there in September when a family member HAD to have immediate intervention, and I couldn’t believe what I witnessed: it looked and sounded like something that one might imagine could not possibly exist in anything but some neglected, third-world horror. And while I understand that there is nothing inherently pretty about an ER, there is no excuse for the filth, attitude, disorganization, and general “yeah, whatever” mood that seems to pervade not only the LICH ER but also their floor services.
    Short of routine and uncomplicated new births, hospitals are not the happiest or warm and fuzzy of places; but in comparison to other busy facilities in New York, what goes on at LICH is scary.
    In the 60s (and I understand that is light years ago in the world of healthcare), LICH was still not the Cornell equivalent of a go-to choice; but it certainly didn’t fill one with fear and loathing as it does today.

  • T.K. Small

    I do not buy into the notion that as “civilians” we cannot do anything. Although it is going to be a difficult task, we have the right to demand accountability for the situation, because the politicians work for us. Whether we are talking about voting for the right candidate, writing letters to the politicians and public officials or, perhaps forming an organization called “Concerned Citizens Who Might Use LICH Someday” there is a lot that could be done.

    Probably LICH’s primary funding source is the federal government due to Medicare and Medicaid. There are two United States senators and two Congressional representatives that should be concerned and helping with this matter. Congresswoman Velasquez is decent, Congressman Townes is essentially useless. The candidate running against Townes, Kevin Powell should be made aware of the situation.

    Long Island College Hospital is in essence a charitable organization. The NYS Attorney General has an entire division dedicated to overseeing charities. How LICH joined this dysfunctional Continuum Health Partnership and squandered the generous bequest of nearly $200 million strike me as worthy of investigation.

    On the state level, LICH is regulated by the NYS Department of Health. We have two state legislators in this area. Martin Connor and Joan Millman should be writing letters to NYS DOH on our behalf.

    Finally, to make Homer happy, Yassky should be concernedsky aboutsky LICHsky!

  • M Ciuffo

    My experience, at LICH, as an expectant mother was horrible. I cannot communicate how filthy their environment is (i.e., hair ALL over the shower walls in the private rooms, broken dirty chairs in the room, filthy floors) and how apathetic their staff was.

    They did not want to help us in any way, meanwhile, I was healing from a c-section and could barely move. I went through over 24 hours of an attempted induction and the nurses were nasty, alarmist and dismissive. They were threatening, and lazy. The nurse even refused to get me water (since the sink was broken in my room and I could barely move) so I could take my pain medication. You would not believe how incredibly nasty she was! She proceeded to walk around my room, slamming empty glasses down, and examining empty, USED cups left by my family and friends who had visited earlier that day, and actually gave me a dirty, used cup, with no more then a centimeter of water LEFT FROM AN ICE CUBE, to take my medicine. She then started to pontificate about how she had endured surgery there and I should basically, “suck it up” since she was so overwhelmed and busy! Every time I needed anything, she repeatedly told me how “busy she was!” Her attitude was deplorable! Instead, she They did not give me enough water during the epidural, so I was gagging and in pain. My husband had to interrupt them and then we heard the guy announce to the student, that he failed to give me enough water!

    They did not respect any of our wishes, and we HOPE to shed light on how deplorable the situation is at this very expensive hospital! A four day hospital stay was $13,000.00 plus the out of pocket expenses for staying in a filthy and unsanitary private room! Plus the cost of the midwife and the cost of the Surgeon! We were insured, thankfully, but the cost was unjustified for the “care” we received! We had to beg, plead, and argue for another blanket when my body went into what is like “shock” and was freezing after the surgery! I would not recommend this hospital to anyone. I was injured during the epidural, and could not believe how terribly we were treated at this central, popular hospital. I hope when others are exploring where they want to birth their children, they visit the premises of the hospital, ask questions, and make an informed decision. I was told there was a birthing center! There was no birthing center! The place is just dreadful! It was like being in a third world country. No one reads your chart, so be prepared to explain over and over that you had a c section. Be prepared to never sleep, since they wake you and the baby up all night. It was horrible and I would never recommend this hospital to anyone!

  • M Ciuffo

    And I forgot to mention, after my child was “born,” I was brought into the recovery room and then up to another room upstairs in the L&D room. At around 1:00a.m, our daughter was brought to us. All of a sudden, I am terribly itchy, and cannot figure out why! They had neglected to give me an antihistamine after the surgery. So all of a sudden, I began to get increasingly itchy! It became intolerable! We kept calling the nurses and begging for an antihistamine. It was so painful, I began to cry! It took FOUR hours to get one! (Please note, when I asked about this at other hospitals, every single hospital said they automatically give antihistamine!) Trust me – find another hospital!