More Details on LICH Deal, but Questions Remain

Update-update: See Mary Frost’s Eagle story for a detailed summary of the agreement. The latest date for a SUNY exit is May 22. Also, the issue of the Othmer bequest is still open.

Update: Capital’s Dan Goldberg confirms that LICH “could temporarily close” if a deal is not finalized with a new operator by May. Goldberg notes:

Closing the hospital, even for a short time, would seem to fly in the face of everything community groups and politicians have fought for during the past year. Their argument has always been that LICH needs to remain open to save lives.

News 12 Brooklyn reports “new details” on the agreement between SUNY and the community groups and unions opposing SUNY’s plan to close Long Island College Hospital that was reported to have been reached yesterday. It does not say if the agreement has been approved by Justice Johnny Lee Baynes, which is a requirement for its effectiveness. It says there will be an “expedited bidding process to find a new operator” but does not say, as “sources” were quoted as saying yesterday, that only those proposing to operate LICH as a full service hospital could have their bids considered. It says that SUNY will–this seems to be a “hell or high water” provision–stop operating LICH “by May.” There is, however, no provision as to what happens if there is no acceptable new operator by then, just over two months from now. Finally, it is said that “the community will have a 49 percent say in choosing a new operator for LICH.” But who has the other 51 per cent? Are the unions considered part of “the community”? If not, and they have a separate “say,” there is an assured majority for keeping LICH a full service hospital. If not, then it’s important to know how the remaining 51 per cent of the “say” is allocated. Our guess is that it’s divided among SUNY, the Governor, and the Mayor. Since the Governor can be presumed to ally himself with SUNY, the Mayor’s “say” becomes crucial.

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  • Monty1

    This is what I don’t get, the neighborhood does not need a full service hospital as Lich sits well over half empty everyday. Plus there is not one person defending the quality if the care there. So what’s the problem with downsizing the care functions to something the community actually needs, freeing up space to build much needed amenities in that neighborhood and widening the tax base while adding much needed affordable housing. Yes SUNY did a terrible job handling this process but let’s move on now and get a good equitable deal done. Not everyone will get everything they want, but we’ll all benefit from that area being redeveloped.

  • Remsen Street Dweller

    To Monty1 — Stop stop these destructive lies already. LICH was NEVER 1/2 empty until SUNY forcibly cleared as many patients out as it could, discontinued the residency programs, refused to renew doctors’ contracts, illegally closed medical operations and procedures. LICH has always had over 90% occupancy rate. Our community and the others in Brooklyn have always used LICH and have fought to continue to use it.

    As far as quality of care is concerned, US News and world Report named LICH the no. 2 hospital in Brooklyn in terms of quality of care.

    But you probably know all that and are just another real estate shill. So go build your condos somewhere else in Brooklyn. In a few more years, Brooklyn will be almost a over-built has Manhattan.

  • Moni

    People like Monty1 may indeed be shills for the greedy RE interests, or simply misguided by the news reports that foster the mininformation fed them by SUNY, Continuum Partners (CP) and Cuomo. CP has mismanaged the hospital , sold off many of its properties, closed its satellite clinics, and, worst of all,shut down its successful departments such as OB-GYN, to CREATE the impression that the hospital is hoplessly underused, etc. Politicians and the special interests that support them ($$) are very good at getting their phony talking points out there in the media. And people like Monty! obviously don’t bother to do some basic research for themselves before they offer an uninformed (if not deliberately misleading) opinion.

  • Remsen Street Dweller

    Agreed. Thank you.

  • gc

    It appears that the Governor is on the side of the real estate developers.
    Hopefully the Mayor can be counted on for his continued support. Both of them should be held accountable for their positions on this important neighborhood issue..

  • Moni

    The 2 best hospitals in Bklyn for decades were LICH and Maimonides — until Continuum Partners arrived to “manage” LICH for those who saw the profit possibilities of replacing it with luxury housing. Get it now?

  • Guest

    Summary of Settlement Details from Cobble Hill Association (as tweeted to #SaveLICH.

  • Remsen Street Dweller

    Summary of Settlement Details from Cobble Hill Association — as tweeted to #SaveLICH.

  • stuart

    obviously the main reason why the last mayor and the real estate interests wanted desperately to close down LICH is because it has a site with water views. That is like crack to the real estate industry. Never mind that it is a well respected and much used hospital never mind that the community relies on it, it has WATER VIEWS!
    I am very glad that the new mayor understands the value of local hospitals and is at least attempting to preserve some sort of health facility there. The irony about living in hot real estate markets is that the libraries, the churches, the hospitals -all are seen as soft sites. We will be left with nothing except expensive condos, which by the time they open will not be desirable because the area has no amenities left.

  • Arch Stanton

    “the neighborhood does not need a full service hospital” That statement clearly makes you an idiot.

  • Remsen Street Dweller

    Here is the video of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s press conference about the LICH settlement:

  • Remsen Street Dweller

    And here’s to a new operator for LICH!