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SUNY Downstate

Around Brooklyn

#SaveLICH News: Judge Orders Accounting From SUNY; Mediator Appointed

June 28, 2013

According to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle:

Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Carolyn E. Demarest on Thursday ordered SUNY Downstate to present a full accounting of all LICH property, assets and funds transferred to Downstate, the income derived from the properties, details about the other LICH properties SUNY plans to dispose of and more, no later than August 5.

The Eagle article says “LICH’s money trail is murky at best.” It notes that LICH’s previous owner, Continuum Health Partners, with which SUNY contracted to handle LICH’s billing after the hospital’s sale, has been accused by LICH physicians and staff of failing to bill for many services performed after the sale. Judge Demarest’s order also requires SUNY to account for $15 million it withdrew from a fund last year that was supposed to be used exclusively to pay for LICH’s costs of operation.

In a related development, the Daily News reports that retired New York Supreme Court judge, former state senator, and city councilman William Thompson Sr., father of mayoral hopeful William Thompson, has been appointed by Judge Johnny Lee Baynes to act as a “mediator” in the dispute between LICH doctors and nurses and SUNY over SUNY’s attempt to close LICH.

Source: Cobble Hill Blog

From the Web

Brooklyn Heights, Health, News

SUNY To LICH – ‘Drop Dead’

June 19, 2013

Update: The Times reports that Judge Johnny Lee Baynes, who earlier issued a temporary restraining order against SUNY’s attempt to close LICH, today, in response to complaints that SUNY was denying LICH essential medical staff, ordered that SUNY “should maintain staffing on par with what it was before SUNY Downstate Medical Center, which operates it, first moved to close it earlier this year.” The Times article indicates that the LICH staff had been told that the ER could no longer accept patients brought by ambulance because the ER wasn’t sufficiently staffed to handle any other than walk in patients. The Times quotes Eliza Bates, a spokeswoman for the nurses’ association, as saying “the judge’s order should prevent that.”

Michelle Green of the NYS Nurses Association tells BHB:

Long Island College Hospital is open for care, and nurses, caregivers, and doctors continue to provide the very best care to Brooklyn patients. But SUNY appears intent on closing this vital Brooklyn hospital. We’re glad that Judge Baynes is taking SUNY’s actions—and the impact these actions could have on Brooklyn patients—very seriously. We will continue to do whatever it takes to keep LICH and all Brooklyn hospitals open for care.

BHB has obtained an email sent out by Dr. Tom Sorra, leader of the LICH Concerned Physicians group about the current situation:

I’m sending out a very brief update on the rapidly-developing situation at LICH –
a press release with more details will be forthcoming tomorrow, which I will send to all.

The attorneys for Concerned Physicians, NYSNA and 1199 were in court today and made a persuasive argument about SUNY/DMD’s violations of the previous TRO (restraining order) issued.
The court set a hearing for contempt and obliged SUNY/DMC to maintain staffing levels as they were in February 2013.

SUNY/DMC ignored the court order, and several hours later sent the following email to all LICH MD’s, which is clearly in violation of the court order – claiming that they are doing this because of “an unsafe situation with MD’s and staff leaving”.

This is a blatant lie!
There is no unsafe situation, and SUNY/DMC officials lies need to be exposed!

Concerned Physicians and other members of the LICH Coalition have been in meetings and on conference calls this evening to discuss this situation and will keep you all advised of developments as they occur.

Please call your elected officials, press and other contacts to spread the word –

the criminal actions of SUNY/DMC against LICH need to be stopped!

Toomas M. Sorra, MD
Concerned Physicians of LICH

Dear Medical Staff,
University Hospital of Brooklyn (UHB) of the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center continues to make good faith efforts to staff the Long Island College Hospital and maintain its patient services. Attempts to replace medical, nursing, and management staff have been on-going. However, we have not successfully recruited personnel for key vacancies, either through locum tenems or permanent recruitment. Due to the departure of critical staff that cannot be replaced in a timely manner, we are taking steps to ensure patient health, safety, and welfare. We cannot allow the public to have an expectation of services that are not possible for us to provide.

We request that you discuss other options for inpatient care and emergency services with your patients. The Central Brooklyn campus of University Hospital of Brooklyn will facilitate patient transfers should you choose to do so.

Emergency Services

To that end, the emergency room will not accept ambulance patients effective June 20, 2013 at 6:00 A.M. FDNY – EMS has been notified that the UHB Long Island College Hospital campus of SUNY Downstate will be on ambulance diversion for emergency room services. Walk in patients will receive medical screening and stabilizing treatment. If further care is needed, patients will be transferred to another area hospital. Patients using the EMS ambulance services will be taken to the nearest hospital with appropriate resources. Hospitals in Brooklyn have been notified of the diversion.

Please be assured that all efforts will be made to assist you in the transfer of patients to University Hospital or to the facility of the patients’ choice. Current inpatients will also be notified in writing and medical leadership will be available for further discussion. For further information and assistance, please call Mr. George Caralis at (718) 270-4293, Mr. Michael Miller at (718) 780-4651 or Dr. Michael Lucchesi at (347) 424-9084.

This dispatch in from a BHB reader:

As of tonight ambulances are not allowed to bring patients to LICH – the hospital is on permanent diversion. Is it closing?

While there’s no word on whether LICH is closing, sources confirm to BHB that SUNY has instructed EMT to not send patients to the hospital as of 6 AM tomorrow (6/20) morning.


Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

Around Brooklyn

Contact Cuomo to Save LICH

June 12, 2013

The Brooklyn Heights Association urges us all to write, call, or e-mail (or all three) Governor Cuomo asking his help to save Long Island College Hospital. While acknowledging that there are allegedly seven suitors possibly interested in buying LICH, nevertheless:

SUNY Downstate has failed to turn over the LICH financial records parties have requested. Moreover, SUNY Downstate has made representations about LICH finances that are simply not true. Without open books, potential suitors cannot evaluate LICH’s economic viability — and there is no assurance that the disposition of LICH will be a fair one. SUNY Downstate’s actions have revived fears that its real goal is to sell the land to a real estate developer.

Instructions on how to contact the Governor are on the BHA website.

Source: Cobble Hill Blog

From the Web

Health, News

SUNY Sustainability Plan: Sell or Close LICH

May 30, 2013

SUNY has released its Sustainability Plan, which focuses on preserving its teaching function at University Hospital of Brooklyn while seeking to share or transfer health care responsibilities with or to other Brooklyn hospitals and clinics and to home health care, according to The Wall Street Journal:

The proposal doesn’t guarantee that LICH will remain open, although SUNY officials and a nurses union representative said potential operators had stepped up to take over the struggling Cobble Hill institution. A Wall Street Journal analysis of the plan estimates SUNY would need to spend nearly $130 million for the LICH transfer.

NY1 quotes SUNY Downstate President John Williams as saying they are “talking to…five institutions” that may have an interest in taking over management of LICH. According to an analysis of the Sustainability Plan prepared by the Cobble Hill Association, the first mention of LICH in the Plan occurs in a footnote that says:

SUNY will review all responses received to the request for information and determine the most expeditious and financially responsible course of action to enable Downstate to exit from the operation of the Long Island College Hospital facility.

The Plan must be reviewed by the State Department of Health, which may approve it or send it back for revision.

Update: Homer’s cousin/former Cobble Hill Ass’n prexy Jeff Strabone analyzes the plan here:

Breakdown of the Sustainability Plan

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

Health, News

Court Puts Brakes On LICH Closure

February 21, 2013

According to this NY1 story, a court has issued a temporary restraining order that blocks SUNY Downstate from implementing its just issued plan to close Long Island College Hospital. The judge who issued the order has scheduled a further hearing for March 7. Petitioners in this case are unions representing nurses and hospital workers; however, the NY1 story also quotes a “local resident” who recently used the LICH emergency room as saying the care provided there was “really good.” This is a developing story; we will monitor and keep you updated.

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

Health, News

SUNY Downstate to Slash Jobs, but LICH May Gain

May 9, 2012

SUNY Downstate Medical Center, which took control of Long Island College Hospital last June, faces an operating deficit and will have to eliminate jobs and close or combine some operations.

New York Post: SUNY Downstate Medical Center announced tonight that it will have to perform extensive “financial” surgery to slash jobs and eliminate redundant services at its three medical facilities to stem red ink.

The scalpel will be used at University Hospital in Flatbush, Long Isand College hospital in Brooklyn Heights and its facility at the former Victory Hospital site in Bay Ridge.

However, the Post story says, a task force report to SUNY Downstate noted that LICH is “severely under-utilized” and that SUNY Downstate should “consolidate its inpatient services at the LICH campus and scale back University Hospital.”

Source: Cobble Hill Blog

From the Web