Interfaith finally gets state cash

Interfaith Medical Center to close, may join LICH in legal limbo
Associated Press

The state has pledged, once again, to give Interfaith Medical Center the $7.5 million it needs to make it through the next couple of months.

The hospital agreed to new terms for the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York to fork over the money, including allowing the state to possibly take control of the hospital at some point, as it did disastrously at Long Island College Hospital. In these dire times, anything that keeps the lights on is a welcome development, according to a hospital representative.

“It is a good development or the hospital for now,” said Interfaith spokeswoman Melissa Krantz. “Everyone seems to be on the same page now, which is to provide health services to the people of Bedford-Stuyvesant.”

Last week, the beleaguered hospital’s ability to stay open beyond a few days was thrown into doubt when the state refused to hand over the money it had promised the hospital on Christmas Eve. State officials claimed they were holding onto the money because the hospital was not making immediate plans to transfer control of its outpatient clinics to other healthcare providers such as the Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, putting the hospital in violation of an order handed down by federal bankruptcy court.

The court’s latest decision says the hospital does not have to turn over the clinics now, but that the state has the right to take over Interfaith operations at any point.

The state will give $3.5 million now and another $4 million next month, according to the agreement. The cash infusion is expected to keep the hospital afloat through March 14. At that point, the hospital and state must once again decide how to proceed.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.