Last Ditch #SaveLICH Rally Tuesday Morning

We have this notice from Jim Walden of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, the lawyer who has represented community groups in the battle to save Long Island College Hospital:

Tuesday may be our very last hope. With SUNY having executed Peebles just days after our settlement with them, it seems very clear that misconduct continues to occur. We need to stand together in this next fight, which may be our last. Thanks to our sleuth extraordinaire, Barbara Gartner, our motion is strengthened by important new evidence. We need all community members and elected officials to stand with us Tuesday morning at 9:00 am. We will gather on the steps of the courthouse. I believe Peebles, Prime Health and BHP representatives will stand with us together to decry SUNY’s manipulation of this process, effectively denying us the benefit of our original settlement. Please gather with us in force to make Albany understand clearly that Brooklyn will long remember this treachery.

Our motion will be heard at 10 am.

The New York State Supreme Courthouse is at 360 Adams Street. Correction: There was a typo in the original post showing the address as 300 Adams. It is 360 Adams.

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  • Remsen Street Dweller

    I, along with some others, received this impassioned email this morning:

    * * * An Open Letter to the Community from a LICH RN * * *

    Hello all,

    My name is Desire Gadsden, I have worked at Long Island College Hospital for 34 years.

    I was laid off on Thursday 5/22/14 & was the nurse who transferred the last patient out on that date at 5:35pm; I will never forget that day. This letter is not about the loss of my job.

    I have grown tired of what appears to be complacency. LICH sits in an upper class neighborhood , yet a lot of the community goes to Manhattan for their healthcare & have been doing that for years.

    They are fortunate, they have the financial means to do so, I certainly don’t blame you, we all know for years LICH never marketed itself to the community, really never did anything for the community, so some went elsewhere. I do blame LICH for that.

    We have all witnessed a 16 month contentious battle between LICH & SUNY. Some have been more involved than others .

    We are now seeing SUNY overt manipulation of this process , effectively denying us the benefit of our original settlement.

    A death occurred to a red hook resident recently, my heart goes out to the family. All because of delay in treatment?

    How many deaths will occur quietly until someone expresses outrage and gets the federal government involved to expose the fraud, greed & masterful deceit
    of the public that has led to the dismantling of healthcare in Brooklyn???

    It is clear that after 16 months, misconduct by SUNY continues to occur.

    I strongly believe there is a need to go to the appellate division to argue against Baynes dismissal of the rigged bidding process argument.

    Almost 2 years ago someone in LICH housekeeping department told another employee that he saw & overheard Fortis people in the building with LICH / Downstate administration . He heard them discussing the purchase of the LICH complex to Fortis.

    This appears to be a deal between Governor Cuomo & Langone & the orthodox community.

    Kirchtenbaum, chairman of Fortis has a very shady past; Federal inquiry in Ohio & rape charges in Hong Kong.

    Langone should be investigated for their apparent ties to Cuomo

    Ladies & gentlemen, it is nice to have the luxury to access healthcare in Manhattan, but as this recent red hook resident death should tell you,

    If you are having a heart attack, stroke , asthma attack or you are bleeding out, a ride across the river won’t save you.

    There is a salvageable hospital in your neighborhood , why not pull out all the stops & try to save it?

    You have the means & the power to do it.

    This may be your last chance.

    Desire S Gadsden, RN

  • hoax_buster

    Desire S Gadsden,
    Accusing people of having committed serious crimes — your accusations about the head of Fortis — is the basis for a defamation lawsuit.
    As far as bids for the property go, no doubt every one of the recent bidders visited the hospital in the past couple of years and had talks about buying it.
    That’s normal everyday stuff.

  • Remsen Street Dweller

    Hoax_buster — I see that you pontificate on a host of subjects. Perhaps, you even know something about some of them. However, you know nothing about LICH and the crimes that have been committed to close it down.

    And you missed the point that was made about Fortis checking out the LICH property before any closing or RFP processing was announced.

  • hoax_buster

    Inasmuch as LICH was a hospital, and it’s underlying real estate is worth a fortune, there’s no doubt many competing interests have led people to cross lines and perhaps even break laws.
    Wow. That’s news. Meanwhile, no one seems to doubt the facility was losing $13 million a month. Why were the losses that high? Maybe some people had their hands too deeply into the cookie jar. Who knows?
    But my comment was in response to the nurse who claimed the head of Fortis committed a serious crime. Like it or not, if her accusation is false, she’s at risk of being sued for libel.

  • Remsen Street Dweller

    If you knew anything about the LICH situation, you would know that SUNY closed down all money-making services at LICH last summer. It eliminated all surgery and other treatments, removed patients, kept ambulances from delivering new patients, stopped the residency program — it reduced the medical services that could be performed to a mere trickle.

    Meanwhile, SUNY spent thousands on armed and unarmed guards. It created a situation of paid workers who have no one to treat so no money is coming in. Why? So they could “prove” to the public into believing LICH was losing all that money. It was paying a staff but allowing them to do almost nothing.

  • Remsen Street Dweller

    Tuesday’s rally:

  • hoax_buster

    From the Financial Statements:

    Acquisition of Other Health Care Facilities

    A major cause of the Hospital’s fiscal stress is the acquisition of LICH on May 29, 2011. Under the terms of the purchase agreement, the Hospital acquired about $143 million of assets and nearly $170 million of liabilities.
    This resulted in a decline in net assets of about $27 million for 2011.
    Also, upon acquisition of the LICH, the Hospital assumed a $140 million liability related to LICH endowment funds that were used to pay professional liability claims.
    This liability has no fixed repayment schedule, and no interest will accrue on its unpaid balance, which would be payable to the Health Science Center at Brooklyn Foundation.
    Nevertheless, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, this liability is included on the Hospital’s financial statements.

    Not only was the cost for LICH a significant drain on Hospital finances, but the acquisition presented the Hospital with the challenge of supporting a facility with a long trend of operating losses.
    For example, Hospital officials report that LICH generated annual operating losses for seventeen consecutive years dating back to 1994.
    In fact, for 2009 and 2010, LICH had operating losses of $39.1 million and $4.7 million, respectively.
    Also, according to the Work Group, 55 percent of LICH inpatient beds (excluding beds available for newborns) were unoccupied during 2010 with 2012-S-72 Division of State Government Accountability 11
    an average of 284 beds unused each day.
    Moreover, LICH’s independent auditors reported that LICH’s recurring operating losses and working capital deficiencies raised substantial doubts about the ability of LICH to remain a going concern.
    In short, the Hospital acquired a facility that was in deteriorating fiscal health at the same time that Hospital finances were in decline.

  • Remsen Street Dweller

    Look Hoax — I can see you did some quick research but there are holes in what you are saying. If you really care to know the truth about LICH, do us all a favor and read the lot of articles in the Brooklyn Eagle and the Red Hook Star Revue. Puhlease — either get it right or bud out.

  • hoax_buster

    Division of State Government Accountability

    Factors Contributing to Financial Distress

    Competition for patients, reliance on Medicare and Medicaid for revenue, acquisition of fiscally distressed hospitals, and inadequate cost controls coupled with weaknesses in governance and fiscal management are the primary drivers of the Hospital’s current precarious financial condition.

    External Forces

    The following external forces have adversely impacted the Hospital’s finances:

    • State mandated personal service costs increased by $92.2 million (or about $23 million per year) between fiscal years 2007-08 and 2011-12.
    This included increases in collectively bargained salaries ($63.8 million) and fringe benefits ($28.4 million, which includes Employee Retirement System contributions of $9.8 million).

    • According to the Work Group, about 25 percent of Hospital inpatient beds (excluding LICH and beds available for newborns) were unoccupied during 2010.
    On average, about 100 beds were unused each day. The Hospital has been absorbing, and continues to absorb, the cost associated with this excess capacity.

    • Medicare and Medicaid accounted for 26 percent and 19 percent, respectively of Hospital revenues in 2011. According to Hospital officials, when the State Medicaid program cut reimbursement for psychiatric, acute care and rehabilitation services in 2011, the Hospital had to absorb a $20 million loss.

    • The Hospital had to absorb charity care costs, based on the ratio of Hospital costs to gross charges, of approximately $2,675,000 and $1,346,000 for 2011 and 2010, respectively.

    • Between 2010 and 2011, direct State tax support from SUNY to the Hospital went from $36 million to $27 million; a decline of $9 million. Moreover, between fiscal years 2007-08 and 2011-12, annual State support decreased by $23.5 million.
    (SUNY System Administration helps to make decisions that determine how State support is allocated statewide throughout the SUNY campus system.)

    • SUNY support for indirect costs and debt service fell from $7.7 million in 2010 to about $1.8 million in 2011; a decline of $5.9 million.

  • ClaudeScales

    Done; thanks.

  • Name

    Yep == a crowd of a tiny handful of locals and huge mess of nurses and union members who could care less about our community and only focus is their paychecks….

  • Remsen Street Dweller

    Name — and who are you? What’s your ax to grind? I see you posting all around. Why is it so important to you that our community’s hospital is destroyed?

  • Rick

    Copying and pasting doesn’t equal understanding the history of why those figures you cite exist. I’m not connected to LICH other than as a concerned resident of Brooklyn Heights who needs a good hospital within a reasonable distance. So I’ve been following the story and hoping that LICH can survive. And I know that the milking of LICH assets that created the figures you cite started before SUNY appeared. One major reason is that Continuum shockingly refrained from charging insurance companies for huge amounts that would have radically changed the financial picture of LICH’s profitability. What possible motive would they have for such actions, which fly against basic business practices? I’m not one to be drawn to conspiracy theories, but sometimes even paranoids are right. Judge Demerast found suggestions of financial chicanery during her hearings, and more investigations are needed into some very questionable practices. Please read more about this matter before knighting yourself as a hoax buster.

  • hoax_buster

    According to published reports from credible sources, LICH has been sinking since 1994. Twenty years is a long time to bail water out of a leaking vessel.
    Meanwhile, all the would-be buyers of the property stated they’d create and/or maintain emergency facilities.
    Are other forms of care needed in the neighborhood? Hard to say. But the plan from Brooklyn Health Partners/Shexnaydre was obviously an imaginary plan aimed at bilking all those willing to believe in it.

  • Rick

    “Twenty years is a long time to bail water out of a leaking vessel.”

    That might be true if the leaking vessel wasn’t deliberately having its hull punctured.

    LICH has been systematically squeezed over many years for revenue – first by Continuum, and then by SUNY, who have shown no interest in making LICH a profitable hospital, but instead have actually declined to accept owed revenue in order to cook the books, so as to make LICH look untenable. Before that, LICH was profitable. But instead of improving and updating as the hospital got older, it was allowed to run down. This is shoddy business practice at best. And that is if we give Continuum and SUNY the benefit of the doubt. But there is so much that doesn’t pass the smell test about their practices, that one must conclude that this has been a case of preparing LICH for an extremely profitable slaughter.

  • StoptheChop

    http://www.brooklyneagle.com/articles/lich-case-back-brooklyn-court-hospital-ranking-showdown-vs-suny-2014-06-02-115900

    It isn’t necessarily true that as long as sick people can go SOMEWHERE, it’s ok to close a hospital that’s in a heavily populated urban area…..”Both Brooklyn Hospital Center (BHC) in Fort Greene and New York Methodist in Park Slope have seen their ER usage increase by thousands of patients this year, according to figures provided by the NYS Department of Health and the hospitals.

    BHC’s emergency department usage increased by 1,841 during the first four months of this year, while Methodist’s saw an increase of 1,330 during the same time period.

    Patients report stretchers lining hallways and 24-hour waits in ERs before hospital rooms open up.’

  • Name

    You would have been a lot more successful if you would have been more transparent from the beginning. This whole thing has been a self-serving mess with little regard to law or spirit of capilalism and freedom. For the record, I dont want to ‘destroy’ anything. I just think it is hilarious that unions and other self-motivated people try to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes.

  • Remsen Street Dweller

    Capitalism doesn’t need any help from me. Greed is rampant. Human life devalued.

  • reality check

    Oh give me a break already. The hospital sucked. Nobody used it. It went bankrupt. Seems pretty simple.

  • Remsen Street Dweller

    LICH was always at least 90% full to capacity (until SUNY emptied it all out) and rated 2nd highest in Brooklyn by US News & World Report.